Cover photo for Joseph Francis Knight's Obituary
Joseph Francis Knight Profile Photo

Joseph Francis Knight

September 5, 1936 — September 17, 2023

Joseph Francis Knight




                Joseph Francis Knight, 87 years old, went for his final ride on his new scooter with “all the bells and whistles” on September 5, 2023.  Joy and a sense of new freedom were in his heart and spirit.  He was smiling from ear to ear.  As he raced along, he took a corner too fast and tipped the scooter over onto himself.  Hip surgery and physical therapy were going well, but complications set in and overwhelmed his body.  He passed away on September 17, 2023 with family at his bedside.  He received excellent care at Kootenai Medical Center and NW Rehabilitation, for which we are grateful. 

                Joe was the son of Francis Loney Knight and Maxine Eloise Knight (Chaffee), born in Olean, NY on September 5, 1936.  He has a beloved sister, Donna Garrett, 13 months his junior.  She lives in Sun City, AZ with her husband, Robert Garrett.  Frank, Maxine, Joe, and Donna lived in Red House, NY, a tiny single flashing light town near the Pennsylvania border.  Joe’s dad was a forest ranger for Allegany State Park.  His family was wonderful and loving.

                Joe was in the US Army from 1955-1957, and spent time in Europe.  When he returned from service, he too worked in Allegany State Park riding motorcycles as a part of the security team.  He graduated from funeral director’s school in Syracuse in 1962.  While he did not directly pursue this field, his education helped him to get a job in the pathology department at Syracuse General Hospital.  Joe also loved horses and studied to become a horse farrier.  He took glider pilot lessons in Texas, pursued police security work, and mastered photography and film development.  Truly a jack of all trades, Joe had numerous jobs and adventures over the years; however, he was happiest practicing naturopathy.  This pursuit ultimately led him and his family to relocate across the country from New York to Idaho. 

                Joe married Susanne Cyrene LaVack in 1963.  They were blessed with 6 children – Joseph Francis Knight Jr. (Ray Webster), Thomas Scott Knight (Trish), Shawn Patrick Knight (David Nunes), Daniel Paul Knight (Brenda), Patrick Michael Knight (Shannon), and Alyssa Cyrene Knight (Ellis Hopkins) – 7 grandchildren – Justin, Dillon, Courtney, Cody, Emily, Berkeley, and Kendall - and 2 great grandchildren – Cali and Addi.  Joe and Sue were divorced in 1985, but remained best friends throughout the years.

                Joe often said he preferred being a hermit, yet he loved knowledge and learning, and would happily talk for hours about his electronic gadgets and acupuncture.  His apartment complex filled his life with friends, as did his daily trips to the grocery store.  His greatest joy was in his dog, Jiyah, who served as his favorite friend and best companion until the end. She will be cared for by Sue. 

                Joe gave us life, each and every one of us.  We remember him through the stories he told, the legends he created, and the imprint he made in our hearts and minds.  We support one another through quick-witted humor and arguing over who is actually Mom and Dad’s favorite, just as he would want us to.  And as we say good bye, we continue to learn about the enigma of our father even now.  We hope each of you is as blessed with love and support.


The Knights

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