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Robert J. McKnight Sr., retired Falls school administrator March 5, 1923 -- July 15, 2007

Robert Joseph McKnight Sr., a retired administrator for Niagara Falls School District, died Sunday in Niagara Hospice House, Lockport. He was 84.

He became deputy superintendent for business in 1966, also serving as clerk of the board for the Board of Education until his retirement in 1980. He then became executive director of the Health Association of Niagara County, a post he held until 1988.

Born in Niagara Falls, Mr. McKnight was a graduate of St. Mary's High School and served in the Army in Europe during World War II with the 291st Engineer Combat Battalion, attaining the rank of master sergeant.

Returning from service, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Niagara University, attending classes at night while working full time.

He was president of the Advisory Committee for the Niagara County Office for the Aging and served as vice president and treasurer for the Greater Niagara Ballet Company.

Proud of his Irish heritage, Mr. McKnight was a charter member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He also was a member of the Niagara Falls Lions Club, the First Friday Club, the Knights of Columbus and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

Active in Our Lady of Lebanon Catholic Church, he served as a lector and Eucharistic minister. He also was a member of the Parish Council, the Finance Committee and the Diocesan Vicariate Committee.

His wife of 51 years, Katherine F. "Kay" Dowling McKnight, died in 1997.

Surviving are three sons, Robert Jr., Richard and Mark, and a daughter, Mary Kay Calabro.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in Our Lady of Lebanon Church, 1120 Niagara St.


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