SPRINGFIELD – George W. Knight Jr., 80, a resident of Springfield for most of his life, died at 7:55 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007, at Memorial Medical Center.
He was born Dec. 19, 1926, in Springfield, the son of George W. Knight Sr. and Olivia Taylor Knight. He married Audrey Fleck on April 7, 1952. His parents and two brothers, Paul and Ermel Knight, preceded him in death.
Mr. Knight was a pioneer of family entertainment. He was a U.S. Army veteran, serving during World War II. He was a member of Church of the Little Flower and International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. His whole life was dedicated to his business and family. He had a passion for flying and travel, especially road trips. He was a product of the Springfield education system. He graduated from Dubois Grade School, Springfield High School, Springfield College in Illinois and the University of Illinois, where he earned an engineering degree, which he used all of his life while building Knight’s Action Park.
Surviving are his wife, Audrey Fleck Knight of Springfield; three children, George W. (wife, Melissa Bird) Knight III of Auburn, Douglas K. (wife, Laura Blackorby) Knight of Springfield and Sheryl A. (husband, Randy) Knight of Sebastopol, Calif.; seven grandchildren, George W. IV, Thomas A., Olivia H., Andrew D., Audrey E., Natalie E. and Camille F. Knight; two sisters, Hazel Demengo of Pennsylvania and Mary Russell of Arizona; brother, John R. Knight of Springfield; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, 2007, at Staab Funeral Home, with prayers at 4 p.m. Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007, at Church of the Little Flower, with Monsignor John Ossola officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, where military honors will be conducted.
Memorials may be made to Spina Bifida Association of Illinois, 8765 W. Higgins Road, #403, Chicago, IL 60631.
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