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Avis Gene (Sullivan) McKnight

July 13, 1927 ~ February 22, 2024 (age 96) 96 Years Old

Avis McKnight Obituary

We said goodbye to our loving Grandmother, Aunt, and friend of many, Avis Gene Sullivan McKnight on February 22, 2024, as she passed away gently in the comfort of her home and surrounded by her granddaughters. Known as Gene, or Aunt Gene or Mam-ma to most, we remember a life lived with generosity, resilience, and an abundance of love.

Born on July 13, 1927, in Midlothian, Texas to Charlie and Lorene Allen Sullivan, Gene began her long life in Hill County where she grew up. She graduated from Bynum High School where she played basketball on the girls traveling team, one of many highlights of her life. Afterwards she became a dental assistant in Hillsboro, and there she met her husband, Joe Bob McKnight. They married in April of 1947.

Gene graced this world for 96 years, leaving an indelible mark on all who were fortunate enough to know her. Her husband Joe's job as an Air Traffic Controller required them to move often and they lived in numerous cities throughout Texas: San Antonio, Austin, Houston, College Station, Waco, and Hurst to name a few, and ultimately settling for the last 44 years in Belton where Joe retired as The Director of Aviation at the Killeen Airport. Gene was an active church member at First Presbyterian Church for many years and in the most recent years at The First United Methodist Church, both in Belton. She was always a prominent volunteer in the communities where she lived, making friends far and wide.

She faced unimaginable loss throughout her life. She was preceded in death by most of her family and friends, leaving her the last of her generation and the matriarch of her family. Losing her beloved husband Joe of 52 years, all of her siblings: her two big brothers, HD Sullivan and his wife Ernestine, Dick Sullivan and his wife Winnette, her little sister, Emma Jo Crowell and her husband Royce, and sadly, her own children: one daughter, Rebecca Lynn McKnight Hogue, one son, Dana McKnight and two infant daughters Rose Marie and Robbie Diane, she demonstrated extraordinary strength and perseverance, finding solace in God and the love of those around her.

In the face of adversity, Gene held steadfast to her unwavering Christian faith, radiating warmth and kindness to all she encountered. Her legacy of love lives on through her three grandchildren, Lori Ayson (Jay Jackson) of Atlanta, Robben Ayson Fitzpatrick (Jim) of Austin, April McKnight Harris (Korey) of Meridian, nine great-grandchildren, and countless nieces and nephews who were cherished by her beyond measure.

Gene, Aunt Gene, Mam-ma leaves behind a tapestry of memories woven with laughter, strength and unconditional love. Her presence will be deeply missed, but her spirit will continue to inspire us as we carry forward the lessons she imparted and the values she held dear. Despite the loss and heartache, she never missed the soft whisper of God’s voice reminding her of his love, reassuring her of her faith, and reinforcing hope while she waited to be reunited with her loved ones.

As we bid farewell to Gene, let us celebrate a life well-lived and a soul that touched countless hearts. Though she may no longer be with us in body, her love will forever echo in the lives of those she touched, reminding us that love transcends time and space, and that the bonds of family are eternal. Rest in peace, dear Mam-ma, knowing that you are loved beyond measure and that your legacy will endure for generations to come.

A Graveside service will be held at 2:00 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at Ridge Park Cemetery with a visitation beforehand at noon at Marshall and Marshall Funeral Directors in Hillsboro, Texas.

In lieu of Flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The American Cancer Society.

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February 27, 2024

12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Marshall and Marshall Funeral Directors - Hillsboro
2495 Corsicana Highway
Hillsboro, TX 76645

Graveside Service
February 27, 2024

2:00 PM
Ridge Park Cemetery, Hillsboro


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