Robert Wallace McKnight

Robert Wallace, (Bob), McKnight, age 90, passed away on April 23, 2024, surrounded by his loving wife, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Robert was born in Louisville, Kentucky on September 2,1933, the only child of James “Audie” McKnight and Annie May Merrill McKnight.

Bob grew up in Ilsley, Kentucky and graduated from and played basketball for Nortonville High School. At the ages of 20 and 17 Bob and Exie Bonez, (Bonnie) Wade eloped to Cleveland, Ohio where they began their devoted marriage of nearly 70 years. While in Cleveland, Bob worked for a short time as a draftsman for construction company before he was drafted into the United States Army.

Bob began his Army career at bootcamp in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. His 22 years of service led him and his family across the United States and twice to Germany. His posts included Fort Ord, Sacramento, CA, the Presidio, San Francisco, CA, Fort Benning, GA, Fort Leavenworth, KA, and Fort Devens, MA. Bob attended officers training school in Fort Benning, GA and completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Arkansas State University. While at the Presidio in California he was Commanding Officer of the “A” Company color guard where he and Company “A” had the honor to perform and greet visiting dignitaries including President Kennedy. He served 2 tours of duty in Vietnam and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Some of the awards Bob received during his career are the Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Parachute Badge, Pathfinder Badge and the Meritorious Service Medal.

After his retirement Bob settled his family in Orlando, Florida where he became a licensed private investigator and pursued one of his longtime passions – antiques. Bob and Bonnie opened and maintained several different shops and were at Renninger’s Antique Market in Mount Dora, Florida for many, many years.

Bob was an avid researcher and became a self-taught antiques expert. He had an “eye” for skilled and hand-crafted items. He himself was very skilled at repair and restoration, woodcarving and stained glass. In his retirement he also became a gourmet cook, delighting family and friends with his creations. When he wasn’t scouring estate sales or in the kitchen you could find him on the golf course, playing bridge, dominoes or poker.

Bob was a faithful member of Park Lake Presbyterian Church in Orlando. He served on many committees, worked tirelessly on the Mission Fair and raising money for student scholarships. He dedicated his time to driving the Church bus on Sundays and for Prime Timers trips. It brought him great joy to be of service to the members of Park Lake Presbyterian Church.

Robert is survived by his wife, Bonnie McKnight, son Scott McKnight; son Marty McKnight and his wife Kathy; daughter Lisa McKnight; daughter Mia Shannon and her husband Tim and “like a daughter” Bobbie Rachal; grandchildren, Rachel McKnight, Randi Rachal, Jeannine McKnight, Brianne Snyder and her husband Branden, James Childers, Daniel Childers, Samantha Shannon, Tyler Shannon and his wife Nicole, Zachary Shannon, Luke Shannon and great grandchildren Savannah Snyder, Braxden Snyder, Royce Rachal and Atlas Lorenz.

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