Two weeks ago, Knaus Grafe was hospitalized after suffering life-threatening injuries to her head and chest. She and her husband, Herbert Grafe, were allegedly attacked by their son, Travis Grafe, 40. Herbert Grafe's injuries were not as severe, and he is expected to recover fully.
It is with deep sadness that we must report that Rachel has succumbed to the injuries sustained at her home two weeks ago. Jesus called Rachel home at approximately 1:45 this afternoon. We will be open tomorrow and for most of the remainder of the week as we prepare to celebrate her life. Once again. we want to thank the entire community. You are family! You have been a great support and inspiration. Thank you for your prayers and concern.
Miamians have been sharing their condolences on social media.
Miami-Dade mayor Daniella Levine Cava tweeted, "Rob and I are deeply saddened by the death of Rachel Knaus Grafe, owner of Knaus Berry Farm. She was a woman of strength and grace who embodied the values of hard work, family, and community. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Knaus family and all who knew and loved her."
Neighboring Schnebly Redland's Winery owner, Peter Schnebly, sent condolences via Instagram: "Prayers from the Schnebly family."
Just last week, the close-knit Knaus family posted a report that Knaus Grafe had "passed the crisis phase," adding pictures of banners and signs left by families and customers who sent wishes and prayers for the farmstand owner's full recovery.
Knaus Grafe, the daughter of Knaus Berry Farm cofounder Ray Knaus, owned and operated the farm and bakery with her sister Susan and their husbands. Knaus Grafe's brother-in-law, Thomas Blocher, tells New Times that Knaus Grafe was in charge of payroll, billing, accounts receivables, and all bookkeeping duties, along with the most important job of all. "Rachel was our quality control taste tester," says Blocher, who added, "She didn't like to eat strawberries."
The Knaus family is planning services for Knaus Grafe, and New Times will share any information about a public memorial. The family is requesting any donations be made in Knaus Grafe's name to the Brain Injury Association of America in lieu of flowers.
Knaus Berry Farm will be open regular hours through Thursday, March 9. The farmstand and bakery will close early on Friday, March 10, at 3 p.m. and will remain closed throughout the weekend. Knaus Berry Farm will reopen Monday, March 13 at 8 a.m.