Born April 23, 1930 in West Chenango Wilma M. (Willie) Knight passed into eternal rest on August 7, 2021 following a brief battle with pancreatic cancer with her three daughters by her side. Willie graduated from Johnson City Central School District, Class of 1947, where she was a member of the marching band and, as one of the smallest girls in her class, played the mellophone. From 1963 until 2012 Willie resided in Windsor, NY, with her husband Frank A. Knight who preceded her in death in 1997.
Throughout her life Willie worked in the Endicott Johnson Shoe Factory where she ran a stitching machine with four needles, as a cook in diners where she specialized steaming sunny-side up eggs with water rather than flipping them and breaking the yolk (a practice that has been passed down to her daughters and grandchildren), and as a bus monitor on a bus for special needs students for the Windsor Central School District where she fell in love with each of her little charges.
In 2012 she returned to her roots and moved to the Harry L. Apartments in Johnson City where she reconnected with childhood friends and made many new, dear friends, specifically Shirley McDonald and Helen Getchell. Willie became very active in the social aspect of the building; helping to plan bingo nights and monthly entertainments when bands would come in to play for the residents.
With hands that were rarely idle throughout her life, she always had some project in the works. Among them were crocheting, knitting and sewing, where she used her talents to make everything from her oldest daughter's diapers to her youngest daughter's wedding gown; with many special garments in between. Though Willie enjoyed reminiscing about the good old day when life was simpler, she embraced technology and enjoyed her iPad. Using it to keep up with current events, finding recipes, spending time on Facebook to keep up with family and friends near and far, and checking Youtube to see what craziness The Crazy Russian Hacker was up to.
Gracious with her unconditional love, along the way Willie collected many others who she took under her wing. Besides her immediate family, there were many who called her Grandma Knight, Aunt Willie, and Grannon.
Willie is survived by her daughters Diane Garlick (Todd Dobish), Teresa Goetz, Gayle Ditch (David),six step-children, twenty-two grandchildren, thirty-five great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild and many nieces and nephews. She held great joy and pride in celebrating their successes, no matter how small and was always their biggest cheerleader. She was predeceased by her siblings Melvin Fletcher, Herbert Bailey, Kathryn Knapp, and Paula Cornell, and is survived by brothers Duane Fletcher, Roger Fletcher, Fred Fletcher David Fletcher, Donald Bailey, Benjamin Bailey, Adrian Bailey and sisters Lois Roote, and Annie Price, and was joined on her heavenly journey by her brother Richard Bailey who passed away on the same day.
The family would like to thank Lourdes Hospice for their support of Willie and her family, and a special thank you to Amanda Smith who provided her with the utmost of care in her final weeks.
Visiting hours will be held Friday, August 13, 2021 from 11:00 – 1:00 with the funeral immediately following at the First Presbyterian Church, Main Street, Johnson City, NY. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Mercy House, 212 North McKinley, Endicott, NY.
To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Wilma M. Knight, please visit our tribute store.