Elizabeth C. Knecht August 25, 1938 - January 28, 2024
Elizabeth Claire “Betty” Knecht (born McKellin) entered heaven on January 28, 2024, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. She lived a very full and happy life as a woman of faith with a strong work ethic and a healthy sense of humor. She was 85 years old.
Betty was born, and grew up in Wheaton IL, to Florence and James McKellin, attended Wheaton Academy and graduated from Wheaton College. Some of her favorite childhood memories included taking road trips through the south to visit extended family, hosting neighborhood friends at their family home on Madison Street, heading into Chicago for big city entertainment, and participating in a high school choir tour of Europe in 1956. Her first job after college was touring the country as a celebrity chef and leading tv shows and live cooking workshops for the Galaxy of Foods Company. Over the course of four years on the road, she was described as one of the “country’s foremost home economists.”
Betty met Dave Knecht, a physical education teacher, while teaching home economics at Maplewood Junior High School in Maplewood NJ. In 1968, she began the journey of raising three boys: David, John and Doug. She drove them to swim classes, sporting events and music lessons for over two decades. Betty served as a deacon, taught Sunday school and sang in the choir at First Presbyterian Church in Orange NJ. She also became a small business owner by co-purchasing the ‘Back of the Mill’ plant shop which she helped run for 14 years. Whether you were a close friend or customer stopping by, Betty would always greet you with a warm smile and engaging conversation.
Betty and Dave retired and moved to Coopersburg PA where they built a home on Dave’s family land and joined First Presbyterian Church in Allentown. In Pennsylvania, they hosted their growing family for holidays and joyous summer gatherings. Betty was blessed with six grandchildren: Catie and Megan Knecht, born to David and Cathleen Knecht, Max and Oskar Knecht, born to Doug Knecht and Stephanie Guyet, and Ashton and Dylan Knecht, born to John Knecht and Ashley Muenstermann.
Betty is preceded in death by son, David, parents, Florence and Jim McKellin, and brothers, Jim and Billy McKellin. She is survived by husband, David, sister, Carol Gonsky, sons, Doug and John, and six grandchildren, Catie, Megan, Max, Oskar, Ashton, and Dylan.
We will all miss her welcoming smile, friendly laugh and endless willingness to help others.
Her memorial service will be held later this year. Arrangements entrusted to STEPHENS FUNERAL HOME, INC. (www.stephensfuneral.com)
In lieu of flowers, please donate money to the Parkinson’s Foundation, www.parkinson.org, or the Michael J. Fox Foundation, www.michaeljfox.org
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