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David H. Knight, Lockport teacher, coach and volunteer

Oct. 15, 1936 ‑ March 22, 2017

LOCKPORT ‑ David H. Knight, a  Lockport teacher, coach and community volunteer, died Wednesday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst,  after a long illness. He was 80.

Born in Lockport, Mr. Knight was a member of the last class to graduate from old Lockport High School on East Avenue in 1955, lettering in football and baseball. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Buffalo State Teacher’s College in 1959, later returning to receive a master’s degree in education.

An Army veteran, Mr. Knight also served as a specialist E-5 and company clerk with the National Guard. Following service he became active in veterans’ activities as a two-term commander of B. Leo Dolan Post 410 American Legion, officiating at countless ceremonies and fundraising events. The post awarded him the Medal of Merit in 2007, Legionnaire of the Year in 2008, and the Life Membership Award in 2012.

Mr. Knight served for several years on the Lockport Town Planning Board and was twice elected to four-year terms on the Lockport Town Council.

A 10-year member of the Lockport Memorial Hospital board, he also was a member of the Niagara County Historical Society, served for more than 20 years on the Erie Canal Task Force, and since 2008 on the Lockport High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee. He was a member of Elks Lodge 41 and the Lockport United Church of Christ.

Mr. Knight was an educator  for 33 years, beginning in 1960 as a fifth-grade teacher in the Starpoint Central School District. In 1962, he joined Lockport’s North Park Junior High School as a reading teacher and specialist, retiring in 1992.

He coached freshman basketball at North Park from 1964 to 1979, compiling a record of 103 wins and 67 losses, highlighted by a 31-game winning streak and several championships.

From 1972 to 1992, Mr. Knight at various times served as vice president, treasurer, chief negotiator and political action committee chairman for the Lockport Education Association. He was a loaned executive to the United Way, and was a member of the  New York State Retired Teachers Association and the Eastern Niagara County Retired Teachers Association.

In 2014, he was named a Lockport High School Distinguished Alumnus.

Mr. Knight was a fan of the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Red Wings and Canisius College basketball. He also was a history buff who enjoyed biographies of U.S. and British military leaders and documentaries about the Civil War, World War II and the Korean War.

Survivors include his wife of 30 years, the former Renee Gumins; a brother, Ronald; three sons, Andy, Daniel and Chris; two stepdaughters, Rachel Silsdorf and Rebecca McArthur; and 11 grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Lockport United Church of Christ, 98 East Ave.

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