McKnight was a former New York State Professor of the Year who served at SUNY New Paltz for many years, including as chair of the then-Department of Education. She was a 1974 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and an author or co-author of many elementary science school textbooks.
McKnight’s obituary describes her as “a lifelong naturalist and scientist,” who spent much of her time in the great outdoors, and dedicated herself to preservationist causes including the Sierra Club and the Cayuga Nature Center, where she served on the board of directors.
She is survived by her brother, Butch, sister-in-law, Mary, and many nieces, nephews and close friends.
The family invites members of the community to a celebration of life and reception on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 11 a.m. at the Trumansburg Methodist Church, 80 East Main Street, Trumansburg, New York.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that trees be planted in Betty’s memory. Alternately, donations may be made to the Ulysses Philomathic Library, the Trumansburg Methodist Church or the Tompkins Co. SPCA.