Cover photo for Robert "Felix" McKnight's Obituary
1927 Robert "Felix" 2022

Robert "Felix" McKnight

April 20, 1927 — June 30, 2022

“Felix,” a man of great patience and a gentle soul, passed from this world after a word of prayer by Pastor Will Hamric with family by his side on Thursday, June 30, 2022. He was born on April 20, 1927, in the Courtney community of Yadkin County to the late John Milas McKnight and Ina Shore McKnight. In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Martha M. McKnight, brothers John L. Sr., Harold Gray, and Howard Ray, sister Sarah Kathleen, and daughter-in-law Rev. Judith Steinman. He learned the value of work and saving early in life while selling snacks and candy alongside his oldest brother, “Johnny,” to the local factory workers to pay for their school clothes. He graduated from Courtney High School at age 16, and in the following years, he enjoyed attending class reunions to see his former classmates. In his youth, he attended and was a member of Courtney Baptist Church along with his family. He served in the U.S. Navy Reserve, attaining the rank of Hospital Apprentice First Class and was honorably discharged with a World War II Victory Medal in November 1945. Returning home to Yadkin County, he joined his father and older brother in the family business, J. M. McKnight & Sons, and was a member of Woodmen of the World. Started in the late 1940s, the wood-working business produced ax and plow handles along with tobacco baskets for about 20 years. The company then transitioned into wood pallets as the market for baskets declined. They shipped pallets into 26 states, along the east coast and as far away as California, operating until 1990, when the business was sold. Felix met his future wife, Martha, through her mother, Florence Miller, his high school chemistry teacher. In 1950, he married Martha Rose, who was from the Pino community of Davie County, and they soon moved to Yadkinville. They were blessed with two children, Nick and Sarah, and became active members of First Baptist Church Yadkinville. He was elected as a Deacon about 1976 and served intermittently in that capacity until 2014. He and Martha served on many church committees and worked with various church youth groups over the years. Felix was a much loved and admired husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. After retiring, he enjoyed playing golf with his son, grandsons, and friends, as well as traveling with family and friends, woodworking, and gardening (watermelons and pumpkins were his favorites). The many garden fruits and vegetables were shared with neighbors, the Church Day Care, and Yadkin Christian Ministries. He also had a love for roses and would often bring in fresh bouquets to Martha to fill their home with fragrance. Felix was aware early on, that the light of God’s love was at work in his life. And this made all the difference in his life and to those who knew him. He is survived by his son, Robert N. McKnight (wife Naro), daughter Sarah Felicia M. Briscoe (husband Phil), grandsons Philip Briscoe (wife Katie), Robert Taylor Briscoe (wife Olivia), great-granddaughter Aurora Rose Briscoe, and sister Louise M. Chappell (husband Larry). The family wishes to thank the staff at the various medical facilities that were helpful to Felix in his final months, including Forsyth Medical Hospital, Village Care of King, and Clemmons Village I. Interment will be a family graveside service led by Dr. Bill Johnson on Saturday, July 9, at Yadkin Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church Yadkinville (P.O. Box 668, Yadkinville, NC, 27055), The American Stroke Association-American Heart Association (1-800-AHA-USA1), or to the Alzheimer’s Association (225 N. Michigan Ave., Floor 17, Chicago, IL, 60601). Online condolences may be left at Gentry Family Funeral Service in Yadkinville is serving the McKnight family.


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