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Melida Fuentes Knott

Sep 2, 2016

Melida Fuentes Knott, of Hollywood, Florida, age 84, passed away peacefully on Aug. 11, 2016, surrounded by family. Sadness fills the land.

Melida was born in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Lake View High School in 1949 where she was captain of the cheerleading squad and president of the Spanish club.

Her first job out of high school was as an interpreter for the International Cellucotton Products Company (Kimberly Clark). She then moved to Hollywood, California working at Saunders Systems (Hertz), where she met many celebrities including Rock Hudson.

After receiving her top secret clearance status, she began working at the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations as a bilingual secretary.

In 1954, while stationed in Misawa, Japan, she met William Jackson Knott, a native of Shepherdstown, who was a U.S. fighter pilot. They were married on Sept. 1, 1956, in Glendale, California and lived in many locations including Washington, Alabama, Delaware, South Carolina, California, England, Virginia and Austin, Texas, where they retired in 1979.

She enjoyed many activities associated with being an officer’s wife including a stint as a gray lady at the Air Force hospital and serving as president of the women’s golf club at Bergstrom Air Force Base.

She moved to Hollywood, Florida after her husband’s death in 2008 to be near her family. Melida had an adventurous spirit, enjoying many activities including solo flying, bridge, golf, cooking, entertaining and traveling to exotic places. Above all, she enjoyed spending time with her family and friends around the country.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years, Colonel William Jackson Knott, and her parents, Jose Guadalupe Fuentes and Berness Prentice. Melida is survived by her children, Kristin Lee Curtsinger (Dale) of Lakeside, California and Kelly Lyn Wade (Daniel) of Hollywood, Florida; her sister, Carolyn Ann Fitz-Gibbon of Newport Beach, California; and five grandchildren, Michelle Steele (Greg), Steffani Curtsinger (Shawn), Sean Curtsinger, Keegan Wade and Kyra Melida Wade; and four great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Barbara K. Nickell (Richard); and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Sat., Sept.10, at Bethesda United Methodist Church in Shepherdstown. A private burial will follow at Elmwood Cemetery. Memorial donations can be made in Melida Knott’s memory to First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, Florida, where she was a member; Bethesda United Methodist Church in Shepherdstown; or the charity of one’s choice.