Anita Jane Fulghum Knapp, 81, of Houston, Texas, peacefully left this world to be with the Lord on May 5, 2019 surrounded by her children.
She is survived by her three children, Lauren Kenneally and husband Matthew of Houston, son David Knapp and wife Leslie of Anchorage, Alaska, and daughter Jennifer Berridge and husband Jason of San Antonio, Texas. Known as “Mimi” to her eight adored grandchildren, she will be forever treasured in the hearts of Griffen and Graham Kenneally, Emily, Elizabeth and Olivia Knapp, and Britton, Mac and Emile Berridge. Anita is also survived by her two devoted brothers, Bob Fulghum and family of Concord, North Carolina, and Gene Fulghum and family of Cherry Hills, New Jersey, numerous other cherished cousins and family members, and her former husband, George Knapp, of Houston, Texas, with whom she maintained a lasting friendship. Anita is preceded in death by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Eugene Fulghum, her in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. George Stanford Knapp, Junior, and nephew, Robert Shawn Fulghum.
Anita was born in Memphis, Tennessee on September 12, 1937, to Agnes Warbritton and Bernard Eugene Fulghum. As a native Memphian, Anita attended Central High School and was graduated from Memphis State University in 1959, earning a Bachelor of Art and Sciences, cum laude. She served as the Vice-President of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, a Memphis Maid of Cotton and later, rebuffed the advances of then little-known Elvis Presley. After college, Anita taught elementary school for several years before marrying George in 1960. George’s medical career and US Army orders took them from Memphis to Augusta, Georgia and ultimately to Houston where they made their home.
Family and friends were the center of Anita’s life. This meant delicious meals for all, pantries stocked with the best junk food for her children’s friends, and a fun, but immaculate home to serve as a respite for all. Although Anita was the epitome of a lovely Tennessee belle in her demeanor and actions, it didn’t mean that she couldn’t be as tough as nails when she needed to be. This included slaying the odd poisonous snake from Buffalo Bayou lurking at her back door, and all the while doing it beautifully dressed, hair immaculately coiffed, and sporting a smile that was always perfected by lipstick.
As her children grew, Anita began her second career working, and eventually co-owning, The Village Boutique, a women’s clothing store, and later working as the Fashion Coordinator for Stein Mart where she organized fashion shows for the various charitable events held around Houston. Once her children began to have their own children, she took on the mantle of doting grandmother, happily serving as babysitter, mentor, baking instructor and avid sports supporter to each of her grandchildren.
Central to her life was her faith as a Christian. Her strength of faith and the grace she displayed throughout her life served to provide strong witness to all those who knew her. She especially loved serving the Lord as a member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, where she served on the Altar and Docent Guilds until her declining health precluded her from continuing her service work.
The family would like to thank all of Anita’s many friends and family who she enjoyed throughout her life, whether neighbor, her travel and bridge group ladies, her Village Boutique partners and Boutique ladies, the women and men of St. Martin’s and others too numerous to individually name. The family is also grateful to the caregivers at Brazos Towers at Bayou Manor who dedicated themselves to caring for Anita in such a kind and compassionate manner, and to Dr. Garth Beinert and staff at the Medical Clinic of Houston who gave us more years with Anita than we expected or hoped.
Friends are invited to gather with the family for a reception to be held from five o’clock until seven o’clock in the evening of Thursday, May 30, 2019, at the Bradshaw-Carter Funeral Home, 1734 West Alabama Street in Houston.
A memorial celebration of Anita’s life will be held at two o’clock in the afternoon on Friday, May 31, 2019, at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road in Houston. Immediately following the celebration, all are invited to a reception in Bagby Parish Hall.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions, if desired, may be made to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 717 Sage Road, Houston, Texas 77056; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, Tennessee 38148-0142; Child Advocates, Inc. (CASA), 2401 Portsmouth, Suite 210, Houston, Texas 77098; or to the charity of your choice.