Benjamin Harris Knight
Vandiver, AL - Benjamin βBenβ Harris Knight, Sr. was a native of Telfair County, Georgia. He moved to Alabama in 1980 and resided in Shelby County for the past several years. He was the son of the late James Eschol Knight and the late Maxie Lee Hart Knight. He was married to Johnnie Rhodes Knight in 1956.
Mr. Knight served with honor in the United States Navy for four years. He circled the world on the USS WASP and was a veteran of the Korean Conflict. He received his B.S. degree in forestry from the University of Georgia in 1962. He worked at Container Corporation of America in Fernandina Beach, Florida until he was awarded the NDEA Fellowship to work on his PhD at his Alma Mater. While researching agricultural pathology and genetics, he was recruited by the Kimberly Clark Corporation in 1966. He held various assignments in Washington, Georgia, Aiken, South Carolina, and Waynesboro, Georgia with the company until he came to the Coosa Pines Mill in 1980 as Field Operations Manager. He served as Chief Forester from 1987-1989 before being promoted to Vice-President of Forest Products in 1990. He was appointed president of US Pulp and Newsprint in 1991.
Mr. Knight was respected for his professional leadership including membership in the Society of American Foresters, board member of the Business Council of Alabama, and board member of the Advisory Board, School of Forestry Resources of Auburn University. He served as the President of the Coosa Valley Academy Athletic Booster Club and was a longtime supporter of the United Way. Mr. Knight held numerous leadership positions in the Choccolocca Council, Boy Scouts of America, and held membership in the Childersburg Planning Commission and Childersburg, Sylacauga, and Birmingham Chambers of Commerce among numerous other charitable and civic organizations.
A committed conservationist and environmentalist, Mr. Knight was awarded the 1995 Water Conservationist of the Year Award by the Alabama Wildlife Federation for his contributions to environmental efforts.
As a devout Christian, Mr. Knight served as a faithful and loyal Deacon and Chairman of the Board of Deacons at First Baptist Church of Childersburg for many years. He was a long time beloved Sunday school teacher of the Senior Ladies Sunday School Class, and most recently, was a member of Beulah Baptist Church in Sterrett.
During his lifetime, Mr. Knight was a Mason, Shriner, and Rotary Club member. He was an avid supporter of the NRA and a sportsman that excelled at hunting and fishing. He was registered with a World Slam with the National Wild Turkey Federation. He enjoyed international travel and visited over 13 countries. He spent his last years on his cherished farm, Roost Tree, with his devoted wife where they enjoyed nature and their children, grandchildren, and many animals and pets.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Johnnie Rhodes Knight of Vandiver, daughters, Sherri Knight Taylor (Pat) of Cuthbert, Georgia and Traci Knight Ingleright (Buddy) of McCalla, and son Benjamin Harris Knight, Jr. (Jill) of Starkville, Mississippi; grandchildren, Bryan Patrick Taylor, Ashley Lauren Taylor, Benjamin Harris Knight, III, Stephen Louis Knight, and Charleston Marie Knight; sisters, Myrt Radney (Skip) of Americus, Georgia: Esther Harrell(Joe Tom) of Warner Robins, Georgia; Louise Penn of Greenville, South Carolina, and Doshia Scarbrough of Perry, Georgia, sisters-in-law, June Knight of Reynolds, Georgia, Alice Dowdy of Gulfport, Mississippi, and Joicelyn Rhodes of Collins, Georgia, and numerous nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother Julian Knight and sister Estelle Yawn.
Pallbearers are Wayne Dowdy, Morgan Dowdy, Warren Rhodes, Wesley Yawn, Scott Harrell, Christopher White, Jonathon Knight, and Barry Brasher.
Honorary Pallbearers are Arnold Adams, Wesley Donahoo, Dr. Jeff McCullum, Ted Stuckinsteiner, Rigdon Hitchcock, Louie Goodwin, Rusty Burrell, Jason Rush, Jason Wales, Jimmy Lockhart, Bob Ray, and Dr. Kevin Windsor.
Visitation will be held Saturday, March 3, 2012 from 5:00 β 8:00pm at Radney-Smith Funeral Home in Sylacauga, Alabama. Services are to be held at Beulah Baptist Church in Sterrett, Alabama on Sunday, March 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm with Reverend Earl Hardy and Reverend Vial Fotenot officiating. Mr. Knight will lie in state for 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be Monday, March 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm in Lebanon Baptist Cemetery in Abbeville, Georgia.
The family will accept flowers or contributions may be made in his name to Hospice Services of Alabama, 2365 Lakeside Drive, Suite B, Birmingham, Alabama 35244.
Memorial messages may be sent to the family at www.radneysmith.com.
Radney-Smith Funeral Home in Sylacauga, AL will direct the services.