William J. Knight, whose family has operated a blueprint business for generations, died Tuesday in his Palm Desert, Calif., winter home after apparently suffering a heart attack. He was 75.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Knight attended high school here and in Niagara Falls and studied business management at the University of Buffalo before he was drafted into the Army in 1953. After serving two years in an engineering and construction division, he returned to this area and went to work for Seneca Blueprint Co., which was founded by his father the year Mr. Knight was born.
In 1955, Mr. Knight opened a branch on Sheridan Drive; another on Nagel Drive in Cheektowaga followed in 1960; and still another on Union Road in Cheektowaga in 1972. He took over as president of the company in 1979 and semiretired in 1998.
Mr. Knight was a Shriner and a Master Mason; he was a member of Master Builder Lodge 911, Free & Accepted Masons. He also was a member and former officer of the Rotary Clubs of Buffalo and Cheektowaga and was named a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of his contributions to Rotary's charitable and educational programs.
He also was a member of area Lutheran, Presbyterian and Methodist churches.
His wife of 52 years, Yvonne O. Catlin Knight, died in 2005.
Survivors include a daughter, Candyce L. Watson; two sons, James H. and Richard W.; and a sister, Carol Linda Austin.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Dengler & Roberts Funeral Home, 8630 Transit Road, East Amherst.