MARY CATHERINE McKNIGHT, born February 4, 1940 at Beards Fork, West Virginia to the late Sis. Virginia and Deacon Floyd McKnight, Sr. went home to be with the Lord, passing peacefully, Friday June 4, 2021. She spent her last days and nights under the loving, watchful care, of her only child, Deacon Terry McKnight and his wife Sallie of Belle, West Virginia.
Mary, a Simmons High School (Montgomery, WV) graduate, was the first from Beards Fork to enroll in higher education at West Virginia State College in the late 50's. When Mary left West Virginia for Albany, New York to pursue a career, she eventually landed on a job in the Selective Service System at the Draft Board (military). Later, she took a position with the U.S. Department of Labor, moving up, as a wage and hour compliance specialist investigating federal labor law violations in California. During this experience, she received numerous awards for her exemplary service and was given special recognition by the Secretary of Labor, Alexis Hermann, at an award ceremony in Washington, DC. Mary loved the work she was doing. She retired in 2014 from the Department of Labor after 45 years of service.
Mary, raised in Christian instruction at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church of Beards Fork, dedicated herself to Christ early and spent the last 35 plus years as a faithful member of the Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles, California where she served, until her illness, as a church hostess, in addition to other church responsibilities. Her belief was firmly planted in "walking by faith, not by sight."
Mary's heart was big, showing her generosity to so many from churches, to charities, to friends, relatives and most of all to her family. She never forgot where she came from and how the grace of God blessed her life. She was a loving and supportive mother and grandmother who sacrificed much; and a dedicated sibling and aunt who was always available and ready to encourage, aid and support. She had a joyous spirit and loved laughing, joking and singing. She really enjoyed photography, fashion, the LA Lakers, getting together with family, taking cruises around the globe and international travel. While on a trip to Jerusalem she planted trees on the Hills of Galilee to honor her father, mother and brother Leonard.
Mary's family members who preceded her in death were her parents, her sister Geneva Farmer, brothers: Floyd Jr., Kenneth, Norman Patrick, Leonard and first nephew Bruce. Left with loving memories of her and mourning her passing are her son and daughter-in-law Terry (Sallie) McKnight, her only granddaughter Ashia (Bryant) Early, two grandsons, two great grandchildren, and six great-great grandchildren, brothers: Robert, Lloyd and Dale, sisters: Lucille, Regina Gilbert and Darlene; a host of nieces, nephews, grand/great-grand nieces and nephews, McKnight/Cross and Watkins/Howard relatives, church Sis. Mary Love and her dearest, old friend Dorothy Canteen, along with countless others.
Mary Catherine leaves a void in our lives, but not in our hearts. She will always be remembered lovingly.
Service will be at 1 p.m., on Saturday at the Levi First Baptist Church in Rand with Rev. Douglas Mullins officiating. Burial will follow in Meadow Haven Memorial Park at Ingram Branch. Friends may call one hour prior to service on Saturday at the church.
O'Dell Funeral Home, Montgomery is in charge of arrangements where expressions can be sent at www.odellfuneralhome.com.
In Between Our Tears In between the tears we saw you sinking, and saw you fading away. Our hearts were truly broken, we wanted you to stay. But when we saw you sleeping, so peaceful and free of pain; How could we wish you back with us to go through that pain again! A golden heart stopped beating, two busy hands at rest; God broke our hearts to prove to us He always take the best. Miss Me---But Let Me Go I have come to the end of the road, and the sun has set for me. I want no rites in a gloom filled room. Why cry for a soul set free? Miss me a little --- but not too long; and not with your head bowed low. Remember the love we once shared. Miss me but let me go. For this is a journey we all must take; and each must go alone. It's all a part of the Master's Plan, a step on the road to home. When you are lonely and sick of heart, go to the friends we know. And bury your sorrow in doing good deeds Miss Me---But Let Me Go