In memory of
James Rupert Knight
In memory of
James Rupert Knight
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – James Rupert Knight passed peacefully into eternity on May 8, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 91. James was born on March 30, 1929, in Lafayette, Indiana, but spent his youth in Indianapolis. He attended the largest high school in America at the time, Arsenal Technical. He played basketball and baseball for the legendary coach, Tony Henkel (Henkel Arena – Butler University). During his sophmore season, his mom and dad, Clarence and Albina Knight, moved Jim and his sister, Doris, to Lyons, Kansas to be near their alling grandmother. Jim graduated from Lyons High School in 1947 and went to Hutchinson Junior College to play basketball and baseball. The family moved from Lyons to Dodge City so Jim joined the teams at Dodge City Community College, where he ended up graduating. He played in the first ever national Junior College basketball championship game in Hutchinson, Kansas in 1949. Later that year he signed a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers' minor league baseball team. He met and married Viola Pennington in Dodge City in 1950. After 5 years together in Dodge, they moved to Salina, Kansas to take over a small sporting goods store there. The store was renamed ""Knight's Sporting Goods"" and Jim managed it for 27 years along with serving as the Ban Johnson Baseball Coach. Jim picked up golf at the age of 30 and became a very good amateur player. In the 1980's he was president of the Kansas Amateur Golf Association and the Salina Country Club. He continued to play golf until his late 80""s. In 2003, Jim moved to Phoenix and worked in security at Paradise Valley Community College for 12 years, retiring at the age of 85. He is survived by two sons, Chris Knight (Joyce) of Amarillo, Texas and Joey Knight (Rebecca) of Spring Hill, Kansas, and his sister, Doris Fowler of Dodge City, Kansas. Jim has a niece, Connie Kopsa (Greg) of Beloit, Kansas, and nephew, Paul Fowler of Denver, Colorado along with grandchildren, Lindsey Sodikoff (Ryan) of Harrisonburg, Virginia, Eric-Ryan Knight (Haylee), Jordan Knight (Hannah), both of Overland Park, Kansas and Anthony ""A.J."" Knight (Suzanne) of Rockwall, Texas. Jim also has 7 great grandchildren. Jim is preceded in death by his wives, Viola of Salina (passed 2003) and Bernice Black of Phoenix (passed 2014). Celebrations of Jim's life will be held in Phoenix, Arizona hosted by great friends Donna Kerr and Norma Brown, Dodge City, and Salina, Kansas. Jim will be buried next to Viola in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Dodge City. Jim has been a member at Cross in the Desert Church in Phoenix for the last seventeen years. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Faith Comes by Hearing.com.
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opt312: Original
In memory of
James Rupert Knight
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – James Rupert Knight passed peacefully into eternity on May 8, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 91. James was born on March 30, 1929, in Lafayette, Indiana, but spent his youth in Indianapolis. He attended the largest high school in America at the time, Arsenal Technical. He played basketball and baseball for the legendary coach, Tony Henkel (Henkel Arena – Butler University). During his sophmore season, his mom and dad, Clarence and Albina Knight, moved Jim and his sister, Doris, to Lyons, Kansas to be near their alling grandmother. Jim graduated from Lyons High School in 1947 and went to Hutchinson Junior College to play basketball and baseball. The family moved from Lyons to Dodge City so Jim joined the teams at Dodge City Community College, where he ended up graduating. He played in the first ever national Junior College basketball championship game in Hutchinson, Kansas in 1949. Later that year he signed a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers' minor league baseball team. He met and married Viola Pennington in Dodge City in 1950. After 5 years together in Dodge, they moved to Salina, Kansas to take over a small sporting goods store there. The store was renamed ""Knight's Sporting Goods"" and Jim managed it for 27 years along with serving as the Ban Johnson Baseball Coach. Jim picked up golf at the age of 30 and became a very good amateur player. In the 1980's he was president of the Kansas Amateur Golf Association and the Salina Country Club. He continued to play golf until his late 80""s. In 2003, Jim moved to Phoenix and worked in security at Paradise Valley Community College for 12 years, retiring at the age of 85. He is survived by two sons, Chris Knight (Joyce) of Amarillo, Texas and Joey Knight (Rebecca) of Spring Hill, Kansas, and his sister, Doris Fowler of Dodge City, Kansas. Jim has a niece, Connie Kopsa (Greg) of Beloit, Kansas, and nephew, Paul Fowler of Denver, Colorado along with grandchildren, Lindsey Sodikoff (Ryan) of Harrisonburg, Virginia, Eric-Ryan Knight (Haylee), Jordan Knight (Hannah), both of Overland Park, Kansas and Anthony ""A.J."" Knight (Suzanne) of Rockwall, Texas. Jim also has 7 great grandchildren. Jim is preceded in death by his wives, Viola of Salina (passed 2003) and Bernice Black of Phoenix (passed 2014). Celebrations of Jim's life will be held in Phoenix, Arizona hosted by great friends Donna Kerr and Norma Brown, Dodge City, and Salina, Kansas. Jim will be buried next to Viola in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Dodge City. Jim has been a member at Cross in the Desert Church in Phoenix for the last seventeen years. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Faith Comes by Hearing.com.
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