Willodean “Willa” Knight
Willodean “Willa” Knight, 81, died peacefully, September 3, 2019, with many of her family members at her side in Broomfield, CO.
Willodean, nicknamed “Willie” and later “Willa”, was born on November 18, 1937, in Cullman, AL, the daughter of Hoyt and Agnes Brown. Willa moved to the mountains of Colorado with her family during her teen years, where she loved to take out daddy’s car with her friends and play hide and seek with the boys. Upon graduation from high school, she attended two years of college at the University of Colorado in Boulder. While in school she met and married Gerald M Knight, Jr of Denver on Aug. 17, 1957 to whom she was lovingly married to for 44 years.
Willa bravely and devotedly raised 7 children loving every minute of it. She often said she was happiest and had the most energy when she was pregnant. She was a great mom, constantly organizing activities, feeding and driving around her children. Moving her family from Denver, CO to New Jersey (only six weeks after her 7th child was born) and then to Wheaton, IL. When her oldest children were in high school, she worked outside the home as a school secretary/administrative assistant at several public schools in the Wheaton area.
In 1983 her family moved to Edmond, OK, and then to Houston, TX for a short time, before settling back in Edmond, OK for many years. While in Edmond she loved her work at Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Religious Education Department, retiring around 2003. She loved being around children and always had an amazing childlike view of the world, in which she saw the best in everyone.
Willa loved to sing (which she probably inherited from her mother) and often chuckled about anything, including herself. She also had a special love for dessert, and she passed that on to her whole family! She was an inspiration to those around her and an honest person who really liked people and was loyal to her family and friends.
Even as she battled the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, she maintained a sweet, light hearted demeanor that lit up any room she entered. People often commented about how her smile made them feel at ease and spread joy to those around her.
Willa is survived by her children, Jerry Knight (Linda), Lori Guilfoyle (Todd Partain), Stephanie Scarato (Gregg), Jennifer Nassar (Hector), Kerry Knight, Christopher H. Knight, along with her 15 grandchildren and her great granddaughter; her sister Betty (Walt) Florquist of Steamboat Springs, CO.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Johnny Mack Brown, Sr., her nephew Johnny Brown, Jr, her husband Gerald “Jerry” Knight Jr., and her son Mark.
Visitation will take place Friday September 13, 2019 from 4:30pm-7:00pm, with the Wake commencing at 7:00 PM at Matthews Funeral Home —601 S Kelly, Edmond, OK 73003.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday September 14, 2019 at 10am at St. John the Baptist Church —900 S. Littler Avenue, Edmond, OK 73034, with visitation from 9am-10am before Mass.
Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery in Oklahoma City, next to her late husband Gerald Knight, Jr.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Oklahoma (http://act.alz.org/goto/WillaK) who were an incredible resource and great help for her family while she battled the disease that would take her life or to Samaritan House, which is a ministry of St. John the Baptist Church that provides direct assistance to the homeless, hungry, jobless and other persons living in the Edmond, OK area.
For further information please call the funeral home at (405)341-2787.