Arthur MacKnight

Obituary of Arthur MacKnight

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Arthur A. MacKnight, 96, passed away peacefully at home on April 18th. 


He was born in Rochester NY to Arthur and Helen (Heffner) MacKnight.  He was a life-long resident of Syracuse, residing in the Strathmore neighborhood.


Immediately after graduating from Nottingham High School in June of 1943, Art joined the Marine Corps, serving in the 4th Marine Division as a communications operator with an anti-aircraft artillery battalion. He participated in multiple operations in the Pacific Theater, most notably surviving the second wave on Iwo Jima.  Upon his return to Syracuse, he attended Syracuse University’s School of Architecture, graduating in 1951.  He met his wife Ellen up on “The Hill” and they married in 1950.

Art started his career gaining experience with several local firms.  In 1957 he founded his own firm – MacKnight Kirmmse Architects, working largely for municipal and institutional clients.  He retired from active practice in 1990 but continued to develop real estate projects throughout New York State.


In his youth, Art enjoyed summers in Skaneateles with his cousins developing a love of water sports.  As an adult, he spent summers with his family at their camp on Lake Ontario, enjoying all the lake had to offer.  Art and Ellen totally embraced the camp experience - designing, constructing, maintaining and enjoying camp was a family endeavor - All Hands on Deck!  One of his favorite activities was sailing with family and long-time friends. He also had a passion for snow skiing and tennis, which he enjoyed into his 80s. 


Art was a talented artist, particularly in painting and drawing.


He was predeceased by his son Scott in 2005.  He is survived by his loving wife of 71 years Ellen (Sharpe), sons Bruce (Meg Welch), Steve (Sheri), Craig (Joyce), daughter-in-law Karen, grandchildren, Megan (Steve) Blahowicz, Kelsey (Fadel Elassa) MacKnight, Olivia (Connor) Trahan, and Riley, Michael, Mark, Halle and Alex MacKnight, along with great-grandchildren Jackson and Breckon Blahowicz.


We would like to acknowledge and thank the incredible caregiving team that allowed Art to remain in his family home.  A special thanks to Val.  The greatest thanks go to his wife Ellen, the consummate caregiver.

He will be deeply missed by everyone who knew and cherished him. 


Respecting Art’s wishes funeral services will be private. Donations may be made in his memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at or to a charity of one's choice.