Charles R. Knight

February 26, 1929 - July 22, 2019

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Known to folks as Charles, Charlie, Chuck, CR,Dad, Pop, Opa or Grandpa, Charles Ray Knight was born February 26, 1929, the first son of E. Dale and Shirley Mae (Shanower) Knight in Kendallville, Indiana. Sister Betty and brother Larry followed along over the years. He grew up in Kendallville and frequented his grandparents’ farm in Wolcottville. There, he enjoyed spending time with and learning from his grandfather, A. Ray Shanower, and uncle, Wade Shanower, as well as snitching cookies and candies from his great grandmother’s cookie jar.

Charles married Blanche Cheatham on September 30, 1956. They settled first in Seymour, Indiana, spent a few years living in Indianapolis, and finally landed in Michigan Center, Michigan, in 1964. Their four children - Ken, Kevin, Shirley Kay, and Karen - completed the family by 1966.

Charles graduated from Purdue University School of Pharmacy in 1950. He worked as a pharmacist in drug stores and later at Foote Hospital in Jackson, Michigan, until his retirement from the hospital in 1987. Planning for an “early” retirement from pharmacy, he purchased Michigan Center Ace Hardware in the fall of 1986, and ran it until June of 2002.
He was an active member of Rotary International, with over 30 years of perfect attendance accomplished by attending meetings in many far-flung locations across the US, in Canada, and Europe.

After retiring a second time, Charles and Blanche built the log home of their dreams on property that has been in his mother’s family since 1831. He had hunted in the woods his family called “Shady Cove” with his grandfather and always dreamed of living there. Each corner of the home he designed was lovingly considered and built to stand for many more generations.

Charles was always pondering a new project. All who knew him have stories to tell of his many interests. His children remember camping in the pop-up and later the many happy memories at “the trailer” - later “Pine Oak” on the Pine River in Lake County, Michigan. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and passed his love of the outdoors to all his children and grandchildren. He fondly remembered many hunting trips to the west, but especially a trip to British Columbia with Kevin, bringing home a moose and a black bear between them. Charles believed that travel and adventure were crucial to education, and he provided opportunities for his entire family to experience them.

He loved his cars - which included big ‘50’s Buicks of his youth, a ‘64 Fiat 600, ‘70 Fiat 850 and especially the ‘66 & ‘67 MGBs he had through 2019. In retirement, he took up cooking and approached this with his usual curiosity and ingenuity. He also supported Blanche in her hobby of quilting by constantly engineering new tools, measuring out the next set of blocks, or coming up with ideas to help her in her projects. Everyone who knew him knew they would get good advice - and possibly several follow-ups as new thoughts occurred to him - if they asked him to turn their problem over in what he referred to as “his feeble brain.”

However one knew Charles Ray Knight, it is certain that their life was better for it.

Charles departed this life on July 22, 2019, passing peacefully in the home that he and Blanche built. Family will gather privately to say their goodbyes. Memorial gifts can be sent to Wood-Land-Lakes RC&D Land Trust (, or Ducks Unlimited (

Young Family Funeral Home, Wolcottville Chapel, State Road 9 North, Wolcottville is assisting the family with arrangements.

Share memories and condolences at

Guest Book

Antonio J. COBO
August 1st, 2019 10:57pm
Zaragoza - Spain

Dear Blanche, Ken, Kevin Very, very sad. No happy year, not at all.. I love and loved Chuck so much. He was an outstanding person and one of my best friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Our deepest condolences to all of you. Thanks Chuck, thanks Dad. we will hunt again together and will restore another beautiful classic cars We will miss you. Family Cobo

Nancy Gurtner
July 29th, 2019 8:06pm
DeKalb High School

Karen, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. It sounds like a life truely lived, well blessed and eternally loved. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Cindy Lash
July 29th, 2019 1:26am
Rome City, Indiana

Dearest Blanche, I have always enjoyed seeing the two of you come up the steps of Caroline's with your latest quilt project. I had so much fun helping you pick out fabrics. Charles always had the yardage requirements figured perfectly! Oh, how I will miss him!

Carole S. Macklin
July 28th, 2019 7:44pm
Decatur, Indiana

Blanche, My dear artist cohort, I will always cherish the time I sat at your kitchen table just talking about nature...the bird feeder, how to keep the squirrels at bay, the veges and grasses and native plants in the small wetlands by the house...and, of course, seeing and discussing your quilt. When I stayed all night at your house, I marveled at how Charles had planned the heat for the house. What a contraption that stove is and how wonderfully functional it is. Charles was so brilliant and innovative. However, when he thought I should be awake and coming downstairs for breakfast, there was a lot of banging of pots and pans. I thank both of you for choosing me to burn and carve your front door. And, I remember how patient Charles was with that process of you and I working together to create the design. He loved you so very much and wanted you to have your heart's desire. I loved Charles for the stellar man that he was and he will be sorely missed. There are no words to express your loss, the family's loss, and, indeed, our loss. God gives the gift of memories, of which there are a lifetime. I love you both.

Ronald Meyers
July 28th, 2019 6:01pm
Grand Junction, Colorado

A man who lives where he wants to live and does what he needs to do to support his family is living the dream.

Joe Opferman
July 28th, 2019 1:10pm
Granger, IN

Please accept my sincere condolences. Michiana Brits member.

Bruce A. Woodward
July 27th, 2019 9:59pm
Warsaw Indiana

We met Chuck when he became one of the early members of the northern Indiana lakes British motor club. Check always welcomed us to his aunt Blanche’s home enlightening us with us with his stories and creativity. Our lives are better because Of having Chuck in it. Thank you, Chuck.

David Lubahn
July 27th, 2019 2:42am
Jackson Michigan

He was a great friend, boss and mentor. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit with him a short time ago. He will be sadly missed.

William Schlecte
July 25th, 2019 11:39pm
Tawas City, Michigan

Kevin and his family have my deepest sympathies and condolences. It is a wonderful telling of someone who was obviously loved and respected by everyone and who led a charmed and full life. Kevin, I am thinking of you buddy! Bill

Patty and Kevin Allison
July 25th, 2019 7:50pm

We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Cindy Knight Fitch
July 24th, 2019 5:40pm
Warren IN

So sorry to hear of Charles' passing, but loving that he had a life well lived....Prayers for all. The Warren Cousins all send our prayers...

Cheryl Westenkirchner
July 24th, 2019 10:15am

All of you are in my prayers

Ruth Martin
July 24th, 2019 5:41am

My thoughts are prayers are with the family, especially my good friend Karen. I had the pleasure of meeting Charles and he was every bit of the man that his obituary states. Heaven is welcoming a great man.

James Knight, Jr
July 23rd, 2019 8:17pm
Madison WI

Peace to you, from another Knight who loves cars.

Ray Huff
July 23rd, 2019 7:43pm
Howe Indiana

RIP Charles you will be missed

July 23rd, 2019 7:16pm

I love you

Lance C and Tamara L. Shively
July 23rd, 2019 6:59pm
Michigan Center

No question our lives were better for knowing Charles,..... He will be sadly missed yet always fondly remembered.