Knight, William "Roy"
It’s a real struggle to try to compress such a full and interesting 96 plus years into a few paragraphs that might explain just who Roy Knight was.
He was born on February 19, 1924 to parents George and Mildred Knight, the second of their three children. With older brother, Neil, and younger sister, Peggy, he lived on a mixed farm with Percherons for the heavy work, cows, pigs, chickens, as well as gardens for growing fruits and vegetables. He was experienced in all aspects of the farm, especially milking the cows by hand twice a day.
He was educated, first at a small one-room school, then high school in Colborne during the Depression when money was scarce. He worked hard on their farm and neighbouring farms, as well as in town on the weekends. His high marks in maths and physics got him into a special course in the army in 1943.
Army life suited Roy to a T. The army sent him for further education at The University of Toronto and he even attended a physics lecture given by Albert Einstein.
He and Lois McMann had attended elementary and secondary school together as children. On meeting her at a dance later on, romance blossomed and they were married in 1945 just as he graduated from officer training. He continued his university courses when the war ended, graduating as a mechanical engineer, and began to work for the DeLaval Company in Peterborough in 1948.
The next few decades saw a total of seven daughters born – Brenda, Nora, Lucy, Amy, Lorna, Teresa and Holly, while Dad continued to work for DeLaval. He loved his work and was able to deal with its challenges. He found he was a good salesman and was able to tailor a deal to get the most for the customer.
Outside of work and family, Roy had many passions. He was heavily involved in the United Church, holding many different positions. He loved to fish, golf, square dance, curl, and play bridge. When he finally stopped curling in his 90’s, he had curled for over 62 years. He didn’t stop playing bridge with his buddies until he was about 94. Another passion was buying and selling cars. He could remember every car he ever owned, its make and model, the year he bought it, what he paid for it, and whether or not it was a good car.
In the early 60’s Roy and Lois bought a cottage on Kennissis Lake where the family spent most summers water skiing, canoeing, fishing (of course), swimming and just enjoying nature.
There were always 2 cats and sometimes a dog in the house. Feeding and watching birds was another hobby. All of his daughters share his love for animals.
As their daughters grew up and moved away, Roy decided to take a different job in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1974. He and Lois stayed there for about 2 years before moving to Kitchener where he worked for several different companies over the next decade or so until he “retired” and started his own consulting company. By this time he was a stainless steel expert, especially with breweries and wineries and the fabrication of their large tanks. He was the only one, not only in Canada, but also in Europe, who could fix a tank that had caved in. In his mid-80’s, when asked if he was going to train someone else to do this tricky work, he said, “No, if I do, they won’t hire me.” He continued to do contract work until his late 80’s. One of the jobs he was most proud of was when he bought a large tank from one brewing company and sold it to a rival company, the only problem being that the tank was in the East and was needed on the West Coast. He got the schematics for all the tunnels the train would go through and had the tank put on a bed that would shift. The train would stop mid-way in each turn, the load would be shifted, then they could continue. It was the widest load ever sent by rail in Canada.
Roy and Lois were married for 59 years and raised their seven daughters together until Lois died in 2004. Later on, while volunteering at the Court House, he met Evelyn Shantz and they have lived together for 15 years. He enjoyed a second family with Evelyn’s children. As he developed dementia, Evelyn took on the role of care giver until Roy finally needed the round-the-clock care that only a nursing home could provide.
He was predeceased by his brother Neil, sister Peggy, wife Lois, daughter Holly and granddaughter Emily. He is survived by his loving partner, Evelyn, and daughters Brenda (Brian), Nora (Mike), Lucy, Amy, Lorna, and Teresa, as well as 8 grandchildren and 5 (almost 6) great-grandchildren.
His family would like to thank the staff at Trinity Village Care Centre for their excellent care of Roy. They were unfailingly caring, kind, compassionate and supportive, especially as we all had to deal with the difficulties and restrictions presented by the current COVID pandemic.
On looking back at his life, he often said, “Not too bad for a farm boy.” At Trinity Village Care Centre, he repeatedly said, “I’ve had a good life. I enjoyed it.” May we all have such a zest for life and satisfaction in a life lived to the fullest.
In consideration of the challenges presented by COVID-19, a celebration of life will take place at a later date. Cremation has taken place. As expressions of sympathy, donations to the Alzheimer’s Society, the Humane Society, or Trinity Village Care Centre in Kitchener would be appreciated by the family.