Thomas Harrison McKnight, Jr. ’40

Thomas Harrison McKnight, Jr.  died peacefully in his sleep, Thursday, June 5, 2014, at the age of 96. He was a life-long Memphian and was the son of Thomas Harrison and Verney Malone McKnight and the Grandson of Mayor James H. and Estelle Verney Malone.

He graduated from Davidson College in 1940 and served four years during WWII as S4 of the 92nd Armored Reconnaissance Squadron (Mecz) of the 12th Armored Division and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service in France and Germany. After WWII he joined his father and brother, James Malone (Buddy) McKnight , in the food brokerage business and later became president of the firm. He was Commander of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, President of Woodlawn Shores Development in Sugar Tree, Tennessee, and President of LeMaster Sunday School Class of Idlewild Presbyterian Church. After retirement he took great pleasure driving the bus for Idlewild Presbyterian Church where he was a member and deacon having joined at 12 years of age.

Tom leaves his wife of 72 years, Nola Campbell McKnight , eldest son, Thomas Randolph McKnight and wife Julia Sullivan McKnight of Arlington, VA; and youngest son, Thomas Harrison McKnight III of Memphis, TN; three grandsons and their wives: Sullivan Randolph McKnight and wife Shawna Palmer McKnight of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Shawn Harrison McKnight and wife Julie Boyce McKnight of Charlottesville, VA; Glen Crampton McKnight and wife Julian Leigh McKnight of Oakland, CA; and four great-grandchildren: Tyler Saied McKnight , Geneva Allison McKnight , Rysen Charles McKnight of Charlottesville, VA, and Maylia Elizabeth McKnight of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He was the patriarch of a large, loving family; all of his family and friends grieve at his passing and celebrate the wonderfulness of his life.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to Idlewild Presbyterian Church, 1750 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38104 where a memorial service will be held later this summer.


Condolences may be offered at


Memorial Park Funeral Home


(901) 767-8930


Commercial Appeal, The (Memphis, TN)
Date: June 10, 2014
Edition: Memphis
Page: 4
Record Number: M0005089844
Copyright (c) 2014 The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN