Cover photo for Ellen Kniffin Wright's Obituary
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1927 Ellen 2023

Ellen Kniffin Wright

April 8, 1927 — June 11, 2023

Madison, WI & Pennington, NJ

Ellen Kniffin Wright, of Madison, Wisconsin, and Pennington, New Jersey, passed away peacefully at the age of 96 on June 11, 2023.

Ellen was born and raised in Middletown, NY, by her parents, Fred and Grace Kniffin. She graduated from Skidmore College in 1949 with a degree in Fine Arts. She went on to be a Commercial Artist and an Architectural Illustrator in New York. She met Donald P. Wright, Jr. of Greenwich, CT, and they were married July 27, 1957, in Middletown, NY. They soon settled in Pennington, NJ.

Ellen had never a dull moment raising three sons, tending large flower, vegetable, and herb gardens, pursuing her watercolor painting (to much renown), and being very involved in the Pennington Presbyterian Church for over 56 years. With their church, she served as Deacon and Sunday School Teacher and co-headed the senior activity group. For annual church fundraisers she provided countless dried flower arrangements and bundles of amazing rhubarb from their garden, which sold-out quickly every year. Ellen was a 35-year member of the Delaware Valley Unit of the Herb Society of America and helped maintain a display garden of "Herbs of the World." Her volunteer work also included 10 years delivering Meals on Wheels for Hopewell Valley.

Ellen is survived by her husband of 66 years, Donald P. Wright, Jr. of Middleton, WI, and Pennington, NJ; sons - Steven F. Wright (Tere) of Johnson City, TN; Robert R. Wright (Bill Muir) of Sauk City, WI; Andy Wright (Laura) of Madison, WI; grandchildren - Vanessa Tinn (Matt); Alex Wright; Tristan Wright (Meg); Ted Wright (Melanie); and great-granddaughter, Aria Tinn. Ellen was predeceased by her sister, Jane K. Rider.

Ellen was a beloved wife, mother, and friend to many. Her grace, creativity, and gentle sense of humor will be sorely missed. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Herb Society of America - Delaware Valley Unit (, Agrace Hospice (, or a nonprofit charity of your choice.

Services will be private.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ellen Kniffin Wright, please visit our flower store.


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