Henry “Hank” Knight, 89, unexpectedly left this life to spend eternity with God on July 31, 2019, in Wentzville, Mo.
Mr. Knight was active at home, church and in the community until he passed away.
He is survived by his daughter, Patrice Schuck; three grandchildren, Craig Schuck and twins Jarrod and Allison Schuck; three great grandchildren, Jordan Johnson, Mariah and Baby Zeke Dunston; sister, Jeanette Monroe (Bill); and several nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Irene; father, Milton Jewel Knight; mother, Willie Shaw Knight; brothers, M.J. Knight, Bill Knight, Doc Knight, Bobby Knight and Jimmy Knight; and sisters, Virginia Davis, Lulubelle Harvey and Lavette Whalen.
Mr. Knight was born on Oct. 29, 1930, in Hickory, a small town near Paducah, Kentucky, on a farm. After high school graduation in 1947, he stayed on the farm, working to help his mother until he enlisted in the United States Army. He served in the Army from March 2, 1951, until Feb. 19, 1953. He rose to the rank of corporal. Mr. Knight fought in the Korean War, performing the dangerous job of forward observer for an infantry battalion. He left Korea for an assignment to West Berlin, Germany, where he served in the 109th Infantry of the 43rd Infantry Division of Germany at the beginning of the Cold War.
He returned to the states in 1953, where he continued to work on the farm until he accepted a job with General Motors in St. Louis. He met his future wife, Irene (Shymanski), in St. Louis, and married her on Aug. 17, 1957.
Mr. Knight retired from General Motors in 1987 as a supervisor. He and Irene moved from Florissant to Wentzville in 2001 as one of the first residents a new development, the Golf Club of Wentzville. He quickly became active in the community, volunteering at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and spent many years working for the golf course at the Golf Club of Wentzville.
He was an avid golfer, hitting 200-yard drives well into his 80s. He played in his final golf tournament just last month. His garage was filled with golf clubs. He took great care of golf equipment, even re-gripping clubs himself.
Mr. Knight cared for Irene, who was in failing health for more than five years. She passed away earlier this year on March 30, allowing her to stay at home until the last few months of her life. He would frequently write letters to her, and read them to Irene at night.
He and Irene were fixtures in the Golf Club of Wentzville. He had a booming voice and an infectious smile. Mr. Knight’s lawn and garden were spectacular. He always made time to help his neighbors. He would mow grass while they were on vacation, gather mail and watch after their houses.
During the Lenten season, Mr. Knight worked every Friday night at the annual St. Patrick Church fish fry. He would prep food, cook and serve crowds. He always had a smile and warmly greeted each patron.
But he was perhaps best known for the decade he spent as starter for golf course at the Golf Club of Wentzville. He was a familiar sight with a clipboard, directing tee times on weekends.
Visitation for Mr. Knight was Monday, August 5 at Pitman Funeral Home, 1545 Wentzville Parkway, Wentzville, MO. 63385. The American Legion honored Mr. Knight. Burial is planned for Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in the National Cemetery at Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis.
Donations may be made payable to The American Legion Heart Foundation in care of Pitman Funeral Home, PO Box 248, Wentzville, Missouri 63385.