David H. Knight, 80, of Lockport, ended his valiant struggle, surrounded by loving family, on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital. Born in Lockport, on October 15, 1936, he was the son of the late Herbert Sutton Knight and Janet Lambert Knight. He was a proud member of the Class of '55, the last class to graduate from old Lockport High School on East Avenue, where he lettered in both football and baseball. The seeds of what grew to become his amazing basketball record, as Coach Knight, took root from his playing intramurals at the YMCA.
A 1959 graduate of Buffalo State Teacher's College, from where he later earned his Master's in Education, he also enlisted and served in the U.S. Army, training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, after which he completed his military service as a Specialist E-5, and Company Clerk, with the local National Guard unit in 1960. A Veteran, he continued his service both to country and community as a two-term Commander of B. Leo Dolan Post #410 American Legion, officiating at countless ceremonies and fund-raising events to honor all who have served our nation. Among his many awards, David received several from the B. Leo Dolan Post, including the Medal of Merit Award in 2007, the Legionnaire of the Year Award in 2008, and the Life Membership Award in 2012.
David generously served his community, first with the Lockport Town Planning Board. He was a twice-elected as Lockport Town Councilman, serving eight years.
A 10-year member of Lockport Memorial Hospital's board, he was also a member of the Niagara County Historical Society, served for more than 20 years on the Erie Canal Task Force and, since 2008, served on the Lockport High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee. He was a member of the Elks Lodge 41 and the Lockport United Church of Christ.
David launched his 33-year career as an educator in 1960, teaching fifth grade in the Starpoint Central School District. In 1962, he joined the faculty at Lockport's North Park Junior High School as a reading teacher and specialist -- retiring in 1992.
David was a successful freshman basketball coach at North Park from 1964 to 1979, amassing a record of 103 wins and 67 losses, including a 31-game winning streak and several championships.
From 1972 to 1992, David gave his time and talents to the Lockport Education Association's Executive Committee, as Vice President, Treasurer, Chief Negotiator, Political Action Chairman, and Loaned Executive to the United Way Campaign. He was also a member of the New York State Retired Teachers' Association and the Eastern Niagara County Retired Teachers' Association. In 2014, he was named a Lockport High School Distinguished Alumnus in recognition of his life-long commitment to his community.
Sports were his continuous passion. David was a devoted fan of the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Red Wings and the Canisius College men's basketball team.
A phenomenal history buff, David especially enjoyed reading biographies of U.S and British military leaders and watching documentaries about the Civil War, World War II and the Korean War. His patriotism grew from his childhood experiences during World War II.
David is survived by Renee, his loving and devoted wife of 30 years; cherished brother Ronald (Judy) Knight; sons Andy (Helene), Daniel and Chris (Kate-Lyn); stepdaughters Rachel Silsdorf and Rebecca McArthur (Devon); grandchildren: Ethan, Ryan, Emily, R. Emma 'M&M' Jonah, Linsi and Marisa, Sarah H., Alex, Lydia and Noah; niece Denise Buchanan and nephew David M. Knight; and his cherished dog, 'Pumpkin,' and cat, 'Holly.'
The family deeply appreciates the outpouring of kindness, compassion and love from the community throughout so many difficult years.
Relatives and friends may call on Monday, March 27th from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM in Prudden & Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee St., Lockport. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 28th at 10 AM in Lockport United Church of Christ, 98 East Ave., Lockport. Interment will be in Glenwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to Roswell Park Cancer Institute or to Big Dogs Big Hearts Rescue or to Save-A-Pet of Niagara County would be appreciated by the family.
Published on March 24, 2017