Clark Michael Knight, 73, of South Pasadena, Fla., died at Woodside Hospice on March 11, 2013.
He was currently working as a CNA at the Springs in South Pasadena when he took ill with pneumonia the second week of January. After a two-week stay at home not feeling any better, he sought medical help. In the third week of January, he was diagnosed with leukemia. After a short stay at St. Anthony's Hospital he was transferred to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. As an inpatient, further diagnostic work was done, and chemotherapy and blood transfusions were started. His wife, Peggy Knight, was at his bedside 24/7 for all of his inpatient and home care for the remainder of his life. With great hope, he responded some and was discharged home to received outpatient care at Moffitt. He felt better for a while until he experienced abdominal pain. He was again hospitalized for surgery. Post-operatively, he started to weaken. He and Peggy were so valiant during the progress of the disease. He was taken to Woodside Hospice on Wednesday, Jan. 5, and died on Monday, March 11.
Clark had a full life which ended too soon.
He was born in Saranac Lake on Dec. 27, 1939. Of five children, he was the third youngest. His younger sister and brother predeceased him. He was brought up by his beloved grandparents, Kate and Clark Hayes. He graduated from Saranac Lake High School in 1953. When his grandfather died, he stepped in to help his grandmother run a cure cottage for tuberculosis.
They cared for eight people who had their own bedrooms and sun porch. Each patient was served three meals on trays seven days a week. Rest hours were from 2 to 4 p.m., the only known treatment for people with TB at that time. Clark did the cooking, cleaning, shopping and laundry, along with keeping a large house up to date.
When streptomycin came along, there was no need for the prolonged stays for curing. At that time their business became an ALS. Clark cared for his grandmother until her death at 95. During his time in Saranac Lake, he was in the National Guard and became a sophisticated stamp collector, a knowledgeable person of classic cars, real and replicas (huge collection), a listener of classical music, especially opera, a historian of the British monarchy with a special interest for Queen Elizabeth II, and lastly a runner, biker and swimmer. Between 1955 and 1992 he ran 21 marathons, including in New York City, Montreal and Quebec. He completed a half Ironman (1-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run) in Tupper Lake in 1986. The next year he entered again only to have the wheel of his bicycle slip on a banana peel causing him to fall and end his race. His St. Pete Maddog number is 162.
When he arrived in St. Petersburg in July 1992, he studied to become a CNA. His first and only job extended from 1992 to 2013. He worked at the Springs at Boca Ceiga, South Pasadena, in the rehab unit. He dearly loved his job (3 to 11 p.m.), the patients and the staff. Clark was a kind, gentle, happy guy. He played the piano (self-taught) for patients and staff. In 2004, Clark met Peggy, also a CNA. Their love blossomed and they were married in 2006. Two adults joined by laughter, likes, dislike, religion were but they were one and the same. Clark enjoyed the happiest years of his life with Peggy. He continued his work, his hobbies, piano playing, watching many times the "Perry Mason" and the "Three Stooges" TV series, and religious guidance to the day he died.
Clark is survived by his wife Peggy R. Knight; sister Katherine (Katie) Knight-Perry of St. Petersburg; brother James Clark Knight and his wife Nan of Saranac Lake; nephew James Knight Jr. and his wife Sara and their children: Anika and Nolan, Altona; and his cousin, Margery Ranch, of California. He is also surrounded in love by his wife's extended family including five children, their spouses and grandchildren, the staff and friends at the Springs, and the members of the Healing Truth Ministries and Gateway Christian Center, especially Pastor Joe (Dr. Joe Wankoevering).
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 23 at Revealing Truth Ministries, at 203 73rd Ave. South, St. Pete Beach (behind the post office near the Cory Avenue Bridge).