PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- Southwest Florida will say goodbye to a beloved community member on Tuesday.
73-year-old Mary Knowlton was a wife, a mother, and a volunteer in Punta Gorda. Last week she was killed while taking part in a citizens police academy class. During a shoot/don't shoot seminar she was shot and killed by a police officer whose gun was supposed to be loaded with blanks.
Mary's funeral will be at the First United Methodist Church of Punta Gorda, located at 507 W. Marion Avenue. The family will receive friends beginning at 1 p.m. Tuesday, and the service celebrating her life, which is open to the public, will follow at 2 p.m.
Mary's friends all had such wonderful things to say about her, telling Fox 4 about her service volunteering feeding foster children and tutoring them too. Mary loved books, and two of the parishoners at the church told me a book will be the inspiration for Tuesday's service. "One of Mary's favorite books, it's Wild Flowers of the Holy Land. We're going to use it at the reception for a theme for the reception. Wild Flowers, she loved it."
Mary served at the church every Sunday and worked at the church library and the Punta Gorda library.