FLEMING ISLAND, FL — Mary Ellen Knight, 79, Fleming Island, FL, died Sunday July 10, 2022, at the Orange Park Center for Nursing & Healing, Orange Park, FL, after a long battle with lung cancer.
Arrangements are with Carpenter-Stoodley Funeral Home, Belleville, NY.
A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, July 30, at Mannsville United Methodist Church in Mannsville, NY, with Pastor Mike Chung.
Mary is survived by son Aaron and his wife Monique Knight, Fleming Island, FL; daughter Laura and husband Steve Amerman, Rutherford, NJ; seven grandchildren, Nicole Foley, Mohawk, NY, Amber Knight, Newport News, VA, Aryanna Knight, Melbourne, FL, Amanda Guinancio, Fleming Island, FL, Dominick Knight Fleming Island FL, Kayleigh Amerman, Rutherford, NJ, and Benjamin Blanchfield, Denver, CO; three great grandchildren, Adalyn, Elliana and Layla Gray, all of Mohawk, NY; beloved sister Nancy Whitley, Mannsvillle, NY, and nieces and nephews Todd (Gary) Whitley, Tonya (Michael) Chamberlain, their children Maia and Maddy, Terry Marie (Timothy) Perry, Sackets Harbor, NY, their children Whitley (Corey) Farrell and Clarissa (Cody Modlin) Perry and her beloved dog, Maple.
Mary was predeceased by her former husband Arthur (Buzz) Knight, Clayton, NY and a brother-in-law Ralph Whitley, Mannsville, NY.
Mary Ellen Brown was born in Georgia on January 18, 1943 to parents Catherine R. and Harold Brown. Her parents always referred to her as their “Georgia Peach”. Her father was stationed in Georgia while in the Army; her mother was on leave as an elementary teacher in Mannsville.
Baby Mary Ellen and her mother moved back to Remsen, NY to the grandparents’ farm so her mother could finish her BS Degree. Mary Ellen was fortunate that there were several uncles still at home on the farm so she was well taken care of. They put her on their old horse to go after the cows in the pasture at milking time , they taught her to step in the warm cow pies, had her crawl through the chicken door in the chicken coop to collect eggs, laughed as she was chased by a cranky goose, took her in the old truck to deliver milk cans to the plant, and taught her to eat ketchup on everything.
When she was old enough for school, she attended Mannsville Manor Central where in sixth grade she became “Mary Ellen.” There were three girls named Mary in her class, so the teacher decided that one would be just Mary, one would be Margie and Mary Ellen got a name that stuck. After graduating from Mannsville with a regent’s diploma, she attended the State University College at Oswego and received a degree in Elementary Education. She then taught in Adams, married Buzz Knight, moved to Rochester, Rome and finally Sackets Harbor.
Her love of sports grew in Sackets. The school kids knew she was their # 1 fan. She also enjoyed NASCAR, Buffalo Bills football, Syracuse Basketball, New York Yankees and, after retiring and moving to Florida, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and more. Another hobby was cooking. She watched many food shows on TV, Giada, Rachel Ray, Paula Deen, and loved trying new recipes and entertaining. But her favorite all time hobbies were reading. Even as a young girl, she would grab a book and sneak away to read—- so she didn’t have to do cleaning chores. Her mother thought that reading was more important than chores.
Mary Ellen lived a full and rich life, enjoyed making friends, traveled and kept learning.
Most of all, Mary enjoyed spending time with her children and sister along with their families.
Donations may be made in her memory to a local church or charity of one’s choice .
Online condolences may be made at www.carpenterstoodley.com