William H. Knight Jr | News, Sports, Jobs

William H. Knight Jr.

William H. Knight Jr., 77, of Jamestown, NY passed away at 10:39 am Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in UPMC Chautauqua.

An area resident for most of his life, he was born November 21, 1944, in Brooklyn, NY, a son of the late Anna M. and William H. Knight, Sr.

Bill was raised In Patchogue, Long Island, and after graduating from Patchogue High School he attended the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in music education and continued with graduate studies.

Bill was employed by the Jamestown Public School System from 1966 -1972, serving as the band director at Lincoln Junior High School, where his marching band and concert bands took first place at the Springville and Gorham Pageant of Bands. He was also an integral part of the music program at Jamestown High School, as the director of the jazz ensemble, the orchestra director for the high school musicals, and as an assistant director with the marching band. He also provided instrumental instruction at Persell and Fairmount Elementary Schools.

After becoming a quadriplegic following an accident in 1972, Bill turned his focus to developing a private music studio, specializing in brass instruments. The studio which remained active until his passing, provided private music lessons to thousands of students, many of whom have gone into careers in music all over the world, including his children, Shayne Knight and Chris Wake-field, and his daughter-in- law, Gina Wakefield. Bill took great pride in the success of his students, which included countless individuals being selected for All-County and Area All State, and 99 individuals who were selected for Conference All-State. Another personal highlight was when his son, Matthew Wakefield, was one of 104 students selected nationwide to participate in the McDonalds All-American Band in 1989.

Bill was the first to be named to the JHS Band Hall of Fame in 1982, received the Outstanding Music Educator award from the Fredonia Chamber Players in 1998, and in 2016 was honored by the City of Jamestown and NYSSMA for his 50 years as a music educator.

As a highly regarded brass specialist, Bill served as an advisor to many music educators in our area. His knowledge of the brass pedagogy and literature combined with his experience with middle and high school students made Bill a valuable asset to our school music community. He will be remembered by parents and teachers for his enviable ability to connect with kids, often in areas beyond just their study of music. He will be remembered for his love of live music in various genres, especially that of the Rolling Stones. He will be remembered as an avid sports fan, including the New York Yankees and the Buffalo Bills. Those who knew Bill will remember what he treasured most; the active lifestyle he shared with his wife, Linda, as they attended innumerable music concerts and sporting events through their four decades together.

He was a member of the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club, the Celoron Moose Lodge, the Herman Kent Post 777 American Legion, and the Ingjald Lodge 65 Independent Order of the Vikings.

Surviving are his children; Shayne (Dan Skidmore) Knight of Syracuse, NY, Christopher (Sasha) Wakefield of Jamestown, Matthew (Gina) Wakefield of Jamestown, five grandchildren; Zack Knight, Echo Knight, Ryan Skidmore, Lucy Skidmore all of Syracuse, NY, and Isaac Wakefield of Jamestown.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Linda E. Weatherly Knight whom he married March 19, 1977, and who died March 20, 2018, and a brother, Robert Knight.

A memorial service will be held at 4pm Saturday, April; 23, 2022, in the Lind Funeral Home. The family will receive friends from 1-4 pm Saturday, prior to the service in the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Bill and Linda Knight Brass Scholarship Fund, c/o Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, 418 Spring St. Jamestown, NY 14701.

You may leave words of condolence to Bill’s family at www.lindfuneralhome. com.


Leave a Comment