Obituary: Martha (Knight) Fitzgerald, 1936-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Martha (Knight) Fitzgerald, 1936-2022 

Professor emerita's special talent was giving her time to others

click to enlarge Martha (Knight) Fitzgerald - COURTESY
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  • Martha (Knight) Fitzgerald
Martha grew up north of Boston, the seventh of eight children. She attended Tufts University and Forsyth Dental Institute. At 19, she married Ed Knight. They soon settled in Ed’s native Vermont, where they raised five children.
Martha continued her education at the University of Vermont, earning an undergraduate degree in elementary education and master’s degrees in special education and counseling. She later earned a doctorate of education at Boston University.

Martha worked as an instructor of dental hygiene at UVM, as a sixth-grade teacher in Burlington schools and as a professor of education at UVM. She joined with others to develop the consulting teacher model of special education in Vermont, which later became a model for the country. At UVM, Martha held administrative positions as department chair and associate dean of the Department of Education and Social Services, and as associate dean of the Graduate College. She taught courses in collaborative consultation and was principal investigator of multiple grants that supported the development of model special-education programs.

Martha was active in the women’s movement at UVM as a founding member of the Women’s Advisory Committee and as a mentor for many students. For many years, she volunteered as a guardian ad litem for the family court.

Martha loved her family, traveling, cats, reading, writing, walking all over Burlington, her women’s groups and spending time with her many friends. Her home was a gathering place for family and friends. Her niece Susan Ames recently said, “Your mom had so many special talents, but her most special talent was sharing her love and giving her time to others.”

She was a lifelong member of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington, where a summer memorial service will be held.

Martha is predeceased by her son Ted in 2009; her husband, Ed Knight, in 2010; and her dear friend Errol Beach in 2021. She is survived by her daughter Paula Marden and her husband, Jim; her son Morris Knight and Christine; her son Eric Knight and his wife, Susie; and her daughter Yolanda Knight. Her beloved grandchildren are Erica Marden, Alex Marden, Maoz Knight, Danielle Knight, Margie Knight, Abigail Knight, Tom Knight and Magnus Ames.
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Katie Hodges

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