Robert Gerald Knight, age 80, of Spooner, Wisconsin, died on Sunday, August 16, 2020, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Robert was born on May 2, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Royal and Rose Knight. Shortly after birth he moved with his family to Northern Wisconsin. After graduation he moved back to Chicago where he met and married Paulette Banyai on May 4, 1963. He started his family there, having two sons, before they moved back to Spooner in Northern Wisconsin, where they had three additional daughters. He bought his childhood school house for his residence, living there until he divorced after 25 years of marriage. Later in life he bought that house again and lived there for many years, until he was forced to move in with his daughter, Tracy and her husband, Damian, because of declining health.
He worked many years at Motorola and Durabuilt and also as a bus driver (where he was known to be called “Kenny Rogers” by his riders). He ended his working career at Jack Links in Minong, where he worked until retirement at age 72. In his younger years he enjoyed hunting, ice fishing and snowmobiling. He was a huge car enthusiast and could tell any car (older) classics, models, years, engines, by pictures. He loved his vehicles and always found a way to make his vehicles personal by painting or adding extra “flair” somewhere on it. He was also a gun enthusiast and enjoyed going to gun shows, buying guns that he usually, again, added his own personal touch.
He spent many years enjoying patronizing local taverns and talking up a storm with the local patrons and workers. He was known for his generosity. He lived a simple life and never would buy anything “new”. He was also content to stay in Wisconsin and never had any desire to travel. He loved Northern Wisconsin.
Robert is survived by sons Jeffrey Knight (Brenda Anderson) and Timothy (Sandra) Knight; daughters Julie (William) Miles, Ginger Knight (Michael Tate), and Tracy (Damian) Osterhues; 10 grandchildren – Alexandra Stafford, Preston Knight, Taylor Knight, Dale Stafford Jr., Brandon Knight, Paige Osterhues, Emily Williamson, Brant Osterhues, Dawson Knight, and Chase Osterhues; step-grandson Christopher; great-granddaughters Ella and Ivy Ronnestrand; sisters Mary Ayers (John) and Rae (Harold) Fogel; and special friend Brian Aschbacher.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Royal and Rose Knight, and a sister, Sharon Pierce.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, August 21, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. at the Spooner Funeral Home with Fr. Phil Juza officiating. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 20, at the funeral home and on Friday at 10:00 a.m., for one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be at the Spooner Cemetery. There will be a luncheon at the funeral home following the burial.
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