Remembering Amy Jean Knorr, A Leading Light in the Higher Education Community

Aug. 7, 2023

Acknowledging the passing of Amy Jean Knorr, Professor Emerita of The University of Arizona School of Home Economics.

Amy Jean Knorr

It is with heavy hearts that we come together to remember and honor the passing of an extraordinary individual, Amy Jean Holmblade Knorr. Amy Jean was a trailblazer and a true luminary in the field of Family and Consumer Sciences, dedicating over seven decades of her life to the advancement of her profession. Her journey began on November 28, 1916, and it is with profound sadness that we bid her farewell as she peacefully passed away on July 24, 2023, at the remarkable age of 106. 

Amy Jean's impact on the Family and Consumer Sciences profession was unparalleled, and her dedication to the field knew no bounds. Throughout her illustrious career, she wore many hats and served in various roles as a home economics educator, secondary teacher, college professor, advisor, curriculum specialist, program evaluator, and consultant. With a quiet, thoughtful, and thorough approach, she guided countless learners on their paths to success, always demonstrating genuine concern for their well-being and society as a whole. 

Amy Jean Knorr and friends

Hailing from humble beginnings on a farm in rural Illinois, Amy Jean's journey was shaped by the values instilled by her parents, Nels August Holmblade and Synneva Caroline Weeks. Love, respect, appreciation of others, the importance of education, and working together to achieve common goals were the cornerstones of her upbringing. These values, combined with her own innate passion for learning and a love of literature and writing, guided her towards a career in Home Economics. 

Amy Jean's academic journey led her to Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) and later to the University of Minnesota and back to Michigan State, where she pursued her graduate studies. These formative years provided her with invaluable experiences and a deep understanding of the mission of home economics, its potential, and its limitations in contributing to the well-being of families. 

As a dedicated educator, Amy Jean taught at various levels, leaving a lasting impact on her students. She was instrumental in shaping their futures and encouraging them to excel in their chosen paths. Many of her students have gone on to play significant roles in the profession, attesting to her immense influence as a mentor and educator. 

Amy Jean Knorr and friends

Amy Jean's service to professional organizations was exemplary, with a remarkable tenure as an officer in state and national

associations. Her influence extended beyond the borders of the United States, as she served as an External Examiner and Consultant for various international institutions, fostering the growth of Family and Consumer Sciences globally. 

Her commitment to giving back to the profession she loved was unwavering. Amy Jean established scholarships and fellowships to support students pursuing fields related to family education. Her philanthropic contributions continue to impact the lives of countless students, empowering them to pursue their dreams and make a difference in the world. 

Throughout her life, Amy Jean received numerous accolades and honors, all well-deserved for her exceptional contributions to the field. However, her legacy extends far beyond the awards she received. Her true gift was her ability to handle challenging situations with grace, to foster collaboration, and to bring people together to achieve common goals. 

As we mourn the loss of Amy Jean Knorr, we also celebrate a life well-lived—a life dedicated to the advancement of Family and Consumer Sciences, a life of service to others, and a life that has left an indelible mark on our community. Her passion, wisdom, and kindness will be deeply missed, but her legacy will continue to inspire and guide us in our pursuit of excellence.