MIDDLETOWN NJ: Austen Blair (Bud) McKnight, Jr., 77, of Lincroft, NJ died on October 18 peacefully at home. He was born in Jersey City and lived in the Red Bank-Lincroft area all his life. He has an older brother William, and a predeceased sister, Jeanne. Austen joined the US Coast Guard Reserve serving in the fire company. He worked in New York for Whittiker Paper Company, owned the Bud McKnight Drapery Service for the past 55 years and worked as Director for We Care Adult Care in Middletown, NJ.

Austen was a member of the Lincroft Fire Company for 52 years, Fire Chief in Middletown for five years and received a key to the city for 50 years of service in 2017 where June 19 was dedicated as “Bud McKnight Day” in Middletown.

Bud is survived by his high school sweetheart of 56 years, Gayle Beebe; four children: Stacey, Bryan, Allison and Austen III; in-laws: Julie McKnight, Michael Zwernemann, and Brenda McKnight; 12 grandchildren: Christopher, Ashley, Alexis, Nicholas, Kyle, Tyler, Jordan, Courtney, Brian, Morgan, Austen IV, and Connor; and 8 great grandchildren.

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Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 24, 2 to 4 and 7 to 9pm at Pfleger’s Funeral Home with the Middletown Fire Department, 115 Tindall Road, Middletown, NJ.

Funeral service scheduled for Friday October 25 at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Holmdel at 10am. Burial service will follow at Woodbine Cemetery, 14B Maple Avenue, Oceanport, NJ. In lieu of flowers the family ask that donations be made to the Lincroft Fire Company.