It is with great sorrow that we announce the Aug. 31, 2020, death of our beloved Julian. Julian Tao Knipper died in a tragic accident on his family farm in Crampagna, France.

He was born on April 29, 2017, to parents Jonathan Knipper and Eugénie Baudon. His family, on the farm and in the United States was large and loving.  Living next door to his grandparents Papé and Mamie, he would excuse himself from the dinner table and run next door for the chance of enjoying a second dinner and to sit and read comic books with Papé at their table.

Julian was smart. From walks around the farm with his Papé, he learned the names of all the plants and grasses – with a keen eye for his favorite, edible champignons. With his Mamie, he would eat all the strawberries, raspberries, raw green peppers and edible flowers. He peered into the stars and the universe with his mom on his bedroom balcony wrapped in a blanket at night. He loved helping his dad on the farm, riding together in his tractor and feeding the cows. He was very proud that he could speak both English and French with his parents and would take joy in testing his teachers at the Creche (nursery school) on how well they knew English!

Julian also had a love for music and knew Bach, Vivaldi and Beethoven, whom he preferred to Tchaikovsky, but also listened, on repeat, to “Despacito,” and most recently Paw Patrol. He was curious about everything, open and loved meeting new people. He showed us that if we didn't impose adult limitations on a child’s speech, it was possible for him to give us insight into life’s most complicated questions.

Even separated by the Atlantic and with no travel possible due to COVID, he loved his father’s parents and would look forward to their video calls, enjoying puppet shows, reading books and sharing laughter and love. For indeed, Julian was loving, kind and gentle to everyone in his life – but especially to his younger sister, Bloom, who just turned one. One of his first English phrases he used regularly with his family was “I love you so much, forever time.”

Julian leaves behind his parents and sister; his maternal grandparents, Doris Leuenberger and Sylvain Baudon of Crampagna France; his paternal grandparents, Deacon James and Teresa Knipper of Washington Crossing, Pa., and Barbara Beaumont and George Newton of Somerset, N.J.; and many aunts, uncles and cousins. A private family funeral service celebrating his life, his light and his love was held in France.

The family has established the Julian Knipper Memorial Fund at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, which will go to supporting their Child Life Services for their pediatric patients with cancer and/or bone marrow transplantation and thus ease the pain and suffering of many children for years to come.  To make a donation, visit http://get-involved.uvahealth.com/goto/Julian

For more information about Julian’s life and/or to leave a message for the family, visit www.forevermissed.com/julian-tao-knipper/about

Deacon Jim Knipper serves in St. Paul Parish, Princeton.