|Birth: ||Apr. 4, 1921|
|Death: ||Jul. 11, 2002|
Nathan Clay "Nate" Knight, age 81, passed away July 11, 2002, after a brief but difficult battle with lung cancer. Nate was born April 4, 1921, in Lebanon, Tennessee, to Wade Sanders and Effie Esther (Massey) Knight. Due to his father's battle with tuberculosis, Nate and his parents moved to Colorado when he was 11 years old and lived in the Denver area while his father was a patient at Fitzsimons Hospital. After his father's death in 1933, Nate and his mother returned to Tennessee, living in Carthage, where Nate completed his schooling. He was a member of the Lee Society and Future Farmers of America, played trombone in the high school band, was on the newspaper staff, played basketball and was manager of the boxing team.
Immediately after graduating from Carthage High School in 1939, he boarded the train for Colorado, having contracted tuberculosis himself. He was a patient at the Modern Woodmen T. B. Sanatorium near Colorado Springs for 3 years, where he met his wife, Frances Mae Crow, who was employed there as a switchboard operator. The were married August 1, 1942 in Colorado Springs and enjoyed 60 happy years together.
A very talented artist and musician, Nate was a sign writer for many years, owning businesses in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction, Colorado. He worked for a while at Alexander Film Company, lettering show cards. He owned and operated Knight's Music Store in Colorado Springs and played bass fiddle and bass guitar in various bands during the '40s and '50s at The Beacon Club, The Star Club, The Navajo Hogan and other night clubs in Colorado Springs. He appeared on The Country Store Show, starring Max Morath - the first live show emanating from KKTV. Nate enjoyed listening to, and playing Country Music, but his favorite style was Western Swing. Throughout his life he enjoyed participating in jam sessions whenever the opportunity arose.
In 1960, Nate became a mortgage insurance agent, first working for Provident, then National Old Line Insurance companies. In 1962, Nate, Frances and their two younger children moved to Canon City, where Nate lived the rest of his life. He was hired as manager of the Canon City Chamber of Commerce in 1969 - a position that he truly enjoyed. He resigned in 1972 in order to devote more time to running his tomato greenhouse business - Winterset Farms. In 1973, Nate obtained his real estate license and worked as a sales agent for Main Realty and Chapman & Co. Realty. He semi-retired in 1980 and went back into the sign business. Even after he closed Knight Signs in 1994, he continued to letter signs for the Royal Gorge Bridge until May of this year.
Community-oriented, Nate was active in numerous local organizations. He served on the steering committee for Developmental Opportunities, and was a long-time member of the Chamber of Commerce Prospectors Club. For many years, he pulled the Prospectors' wagon with his truck in the Blossom Festival, Pioneer Day and Apple Day parades. Nate was a member of the board of directors for The College Of The Canyons and a board member of the Canon City Area Development Foundation. He served on the Canon City Tourist Committee and worked with the Retail Merchants Association. He also served on the advisory board for the State of Colorado Department of Commerce and Industry to promote tourism in the state. Nate was an active supporter of Vocational Education and was a charter member of the Home Builders Education Foundation, which was organized to work with the Canon City High School Carpentry Program.
Nate was brought up in the Methodist faith, but, for many years, he attended Mass with his wife, Frances, who was a member of St. Michael's Catholic Church. During the '60s and '70s, he was an active member of St. Michael's Jester's Club, attended Knights of Columbus functions and made many friends in the parish and in the community at large.
Ever concerned with the needs of others, Nate volunteered his time to help shut-ins whenever he could. He provided transportation, ran errands, shoveled snow and did yard work for many of his neighbors who were disabled or in ill health. Nate enjoyed fishing, camping and the outdoors. He was a wonderful and devoted father, teacher and mentor to his three children, sharing valuable life-lessons through words of guidance - some passed down from his own father, some learned from personal experience. He told each of his children when they started school, "If you learn to read, you can do anything," and Nate was always supportive of their interests and endeavors. He rarely, if ever, missed a concert, event or activity in which his children participated.
Some of his happiest moments were spent surrounded by his kids and grandkids, whether at a family barbecue, camping trip, holiday or birthday celebration. In later years, he and Frances enjoyed traveling in their R.V. to Missouri and Tennessee to visit relatives, as well as taking other sight-seeing trips around the country.
Nate was preceded in death by his parents; step-fathers: Finis T. Smith and Loy Granstaff; and son-in-law, Robert H. Tridle, who was also a very close friend. He is survived by his wife: Frances, of Canon City; children: Janice L. Tridle of Lakewood, Wade C. (Dana) Knight of Florissant and Patricia K. (Lonnie) Sedillo of Canon City; grandchildren: G. Denise Turner of Denver, Katrina S. Knight and Kraig C. Knight of Florissant; numerous cousins and many friends.
A memorial service will be held at 7:00 PM on Thursday, July 18, 2002 at the First United Methodist Church in Canon City. Services entrusted to Holt Family Funeral Home, Canon City, Colorado.
Wade Sanders Knight (1897 - 1933)
Effie E. Massey Knight (1902 - 1981)
Frances Mae Crow Knight (1920 - 2004)*
Cremated, Ashes scattered.
Specifically: Ashes scattered 1 Aug 2004, at Mt. Saint Francis (formerly Murphy's Rock) at former Modern Woodmen TB Sanatorium, Colorado Springs, CO.
Created by: Patti Knight Sedillo
Record added: Feb 25, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 85685563