Mary Louise “Mary Lou” McKnight Dervage

by Lynn McMillen
0 comment

obituary image

Mary Louise “Mary Lou” McKnight Dervage was born September 17, 1941, to Irl D. McKnight, Sr. and Eleanor Louise Todd McKnight in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She was a fighter and a rebel; surviving polio at age 11, challenging the high school basketball coach for a spot on the team, and buying a 1969 Pontiac GTO as her first car. She continued to be a strong, loving, and independent woman even after suffering the loss of her little brother, Irl D. “Butch” McKnight, Jr., in her college years and then, her precious daughter, Michelle Lousie Dervage Borders (David), in 2021.

She is survived by the loves of her life, grandchildren, William “Will” Michael Borders and Eleanor “Ellie” Claire Borders and her son-in-law, David, of Huntsville, Alabama. She is also survived by her chosen family, Conrad Knudson, of Seattle, Washington, Susan Mackenzie and Virginia Stallworth of Memphis, Tennessee.

Mary Lou has been described as smart, caring, opinionated, stubborn, protective of family and friends, a lover of animals and someone who was constantly seeking knowledge. She was a collector of books, rocks, art, and anything that caught her fancy. One of her most exciting adventures was in 1992 when she traveled to Alaska to participate in the Arctic Mammal Nutrition Muskoxen and Caribou expedition. She was in her element doing research and interacting with the animals and nature. This experience made such an impression that she returned several years later, bringing Michelle with her!

She loved teaching and hoped she would inspire a continuous love and desire for learning in her students. In Huntsville, where she lived for the majority of her adult life, she taught at Calhoun Community College, Westlawn Middle School and Mountain Gap Middle School.

Visitation will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, 2024, at Laughlin Service Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to A New Leash on Life (; the Large Animal Research Station, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Large Animal Research Support Endowment (; or a charity of your choice.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Posts

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.