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Susan Grove Knott

Feb 28, 2014

Susan Grove Knott, of Shepherdstown, passed away Thursday, Feb. 13, at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Md.

Born March 22, 1939, in Winchester, Va., she was the daughter of Alice James Knott and Samuel Strother Knott. She was reared at Willow Well Farm, near Shepherdstown.

Sue graduated from Shepherdstown High School, received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Secondary Education from Shepherd College and a Master’s Degree in Contemporary World History from West Virginia University.

Sue’s love for learning combined with her interest in history led her into the classroom teaching history. She taught for 45 years and served students ranging from the primary level to college undergraduates. She inspired her students to question, learn and become active in their world community.

… “Miss Knott taught me to appreciate knowledge. It is the greatest lesson I could have learned; and I know it has helped me succeed in many areas of my life already and continues to inspire me to learn more and to know more.”

… “Thank you for teaching me about the world and giving me the inspiration, passion and courage to explore it. I only hope to be able to do the same for my own students.”

… “Today I often have to remind myself of Miss Knott’s lessons: To push back against the safety of what I already know or think I know. She pushed the boundaries and tossed the conventional wisdom aside. She enlightened us without indoctrination.”

As a teacher, Sue believed part of her responsibility to her students was to set “the” example. With thanks to her grandfather’s influence, she became active in local, state and national politics. She was one of the first women to run for West Virginia State House of Delegates and lost by only 24 votes. She, and often with students at her side, marched and attended political events in Washington, D.C. Gradually, her attention shifted away from politics to championing humanitarian causes .. thus setting another example.

When not in the classroom, Sue challenged herself with several business ventures and referred to them as her “capitalistic phase of life.” Along with Martin Conway, she managed and co-owned the Mecklenburg Inn on German Street in Shepherdstown. She and Mr. Conway founded the Carabelle Book Company where they wrote and published historical books and guides about Shepherdstown, Harpers Ferry and The Outer Banks, North Carolina.

For nearly 15 years, she also worked during the summer and winter for the Youth Conservation Corp in locations ranging from the local Harpers Ferry National Park to parks in North Carolina, Utah and Hawaii, enjoying the privilege of being the first woman in the organization to direct a YCC camp.

Susan is survived by her son, Andrew Tanner Knott, his wife, Lindsey Hobbs Knott and three granddaughters, Elise H. Elliott, Livia H. Knott and Lisa H. Knott. The quintessential “big sister” is survived by two sisters, Alice K. Mills, of Portsmouth, Va., and Martha K. Putz, of Shepherdstown. She is survived by nephew, Samuel R. Mills and niece, Linda Susan Peralta and members of the Martin Conway family, with whom she has kept a close relationship for many years.

A “Susan G. Knott Scholarship Fund” has been established at Jefferson High School to help perpetuate her passion for learning. Memorial donations for this fund may be directed to the “Susan G. Knott Scholarship Fund,” c/o Samuel Mills, 4995 Engle Moler Road, Shepherdstown, WV 25443.

A celebration of Susan Grove Knott’s life will be held this spring for her family, friends and former classmates and students. A notice of time and place will appear in the local newspapers.

Arrangements by Melvin T. Strider Colonial Funeral Home, Charles Town.

Please sign the online guestbook and view her obituary at www.mtstrider. Com.