Virginia C. Knecht 1937-2017

RALEIGH, N.C. — Mrs. F.W. Knecht III, “Connie,” 79, died peacefully Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, at Transitions Lifecare Hospice Home in Raleigh, N.C., surrounded by family. Connie will be dearly missed by her family and all who knew and loved her.

She was born Sept. 17, 1937, in Martins Ferry, the daughter of Joseph and Virginia Ralston. She lived most of her life in Youngstown and in recent years had moved to Wilmington, N.C., to be closer to her family.

Connie was a high school graduate of National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. She attended Northwestern University and graduated from Katherine Gibbs College in New York, N.Y.

Connie was extremely civic-minded and made a career of giving back to her community. Connie was a member and president of the Boardman Center Middle School PTA, Boardman High School PTA and PTA Council. She was an active 50-year member of the Junior League of Youngstown, where she served as secretary and chaired many committees. She also served on boards of directors for many organizations, including Planned Parenthood, Wick Neighbors Inc., Hospice of the Valley, Beatitude House, Youngstown Hearing and Speech Center, and Paisley House. She served on the leadership council of Akron’s Children Hospital Mahoning Valley and the advisory committee for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She was also a member of the Monday Musical Club, Leadership Mahoning Valley, the Mahoning County Facilities Review Board and the Boardman Township Zoning Review Board.

Connie was passionate about politics and served as a Republican precinct committee person for many years and was a member of the executive committee for both the Boardman and Mahoning County Republican Party. She chaired and participated in many successful campaigns in the Mahoning Valley, including Boardman Township trustees, Mahoning County judges and the Youngstown City mayor.

In Wilmington, Connie joined the North Carolina Sorosis, a volunteer organization affiliated with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. She was an active member of Wrightsville United Methodist Church, where she attended adult Sunday school classes and was an active member of Ruth Ladies Circle, where she helped with their outreach program.

Connie mentored, encouraged, motivated and inspired people of all ages and was nominated for numerous awards for her outstanding civic contributions.

Connie married her childhood sweetheart, F.W. (Bill) Knecht III in Warren at Christ Episcopal Church Sept. 3, 1960. They were married for over 43 years, and Bill preceded her in death in 2004.

Connie is survived by her daughter, Deborah Knecht (Jonathan) Fetter of Cary, N.C., and their children, Joshua, Daniel and Emily; and her son, Frank Wilson “Will” Knecht IV and his children, Jared, Cameron and Claire Knecht of Wilmington, N.C. She also leaves her brother, Joseph “Duke” (Madonna) Ralston; her sister-in-law, Jane MacEllven; her brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Pat Knecht; her sister-in-law, Susan Meredith; her stepsister, Susan (Richard) Stewart; her cousin, Patricia (Howard) Oliver; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service celebrating Connie’s life will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at First Covenant Church, 5210 Glenwood Ave., Youngstown, OH 44512.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to Hospice of the Valley, 5190 Market St., Youngstown, OH 44512; Beatitude House, 238 Tod Lane, Youngstown, OH 44504; or to the Paisley House, 1408 Mahoning Ave., Youngstown, OH 44504.

Arrangements are being handled by Davis-Becker Funeral Home Boardman, Ohio. Please visit to send condolences.

(special notice)