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The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

Retired CRC physics professor dies


George “Jorge” Knott, former professor at CRC, died Sunday evening while swimming with a friend at Miami Beach, Fla. He was 56.

They were swimming, catching some waves and having fun, his friend Susan Anzalone told a Miami news team in a TV interview. They were caught in a riptide and even though a bystander and the Miami Beach rescue team tried to help, only Anzalone made it to the shore.

“I just wish we hadn’t gone out,” Anzalone said.

Knott taught at Cosumnes River College for 21 years before retiring in 2009. He battled kidney disease over the past few years, though he was otherwise in good physical shape.

Steven Knott, George Knott’s brother, left a message on George Knott’s Facebook page Monday morning telling friends of his passing.

“I just saw him Saturday morning,” Steven Knott said. “He was happy and looking forward to his upcoming travels to see family in Europe.”

To say Knott is remembered fondly by students and friends is an understatement. His Facebook page is filled with remembrances and pictures of an adventurous and smiling Knott hanging from rocks, laughing with friends and traveling the world.

It has become a memorial to a man who touched many lives.

“He lived life to the fullest,” said former student Jon Schwede.

Schwede took Knott’s physical science and mountaineering classes at CRC and introduced Schwede to one of his passions-rock climbing.

When they ran into each other a few months ago at the Pipe Works gym in downtown Sacramento, Schwede was at a crossroads in life and his educational direction. Knott gave him encouragement.

“He was a great inspiration,” Schwede said.

Retired English professor Dennis Hock was close friends with Jorge, as he was popularly known. They shared many adventures during their 20-year friendship, from trekking in the Sierras and French Pyrenees to traveling throughout Mexico.

“He was one of the most popular teachers we’ve ever had at CRC, an innovative instructor who truly loved his students,” Hock said.

Students said that sometimes Knott had a bit of a rough edge and cussed like a sailor. He stopped cutting his hair in 1998 and when asked why he wore it in long dreadlocks, he answered “because I’m a scientist and Einstein started it.”

Students and friends all said that he was an excellent story teller and a very good listener.

“He was a great adventurer, he had an incredible appetite for life and an infectious enthusiasm that made him friends wherever he went,” Hock said.

“Cosumnes River College is a community and family and it’s always difficult to lose a scholar and teacher who made a difference in so many lives,” said CRC President Dr. Deborah Travis. “I know Professor Knott will be missed by many.”

The following is a quote from George “Jorge” Knott’s Facebook page-

“After listening to the press conference just now I’m reminded how proud I’m am to have a calm, reasoned, measured, firm, kind, rational, etc… person as our head of state. I also think it’s VERY important for all of us to think very carefully about where we wanna go as a nation. That’s why I’m typing right now; please listen… please think… & of course, please care about your little self, sure. But try… please try… to be broad in your world view… try to see the big picture… TRY to understand the issues facing ALL of the people and nations here on our very small planet :-)” -George “Jorge” Knott, Facebook post on March 6, 2012 (Super Tuesday Press Conference)

Update George Knott’s obituary in the Sacramento Bee
A celebration of George’s life will be held at 2725 6th Ave, Sacramento, CA, June 9, from 1:00pm – ‘until the party ends.’ In place of flowers, the family of George requests your consideration in donating to the Transplant Recipients International Organization, P.O. Box 2804, Cupertino, California 95015,, in honor of George A. Knott.

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  • C

    Coke SmithNov 23, 2013 at 6:36 am

    A dear friend.

  • K

    KariAug 9, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    The best teacher I ever had at CRC! One of a kind guy with a knack for breaking things down for everyone! he could have taught just about anywhere and been considered a good teacher.

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Retired CRC physics professor dies