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Sidney A. McKnight Jr.

12-20-1940 to 12-16-2019

 

Linn County News

Published Feb. 19, 2020

 

Linn County lost a true lover and preserver of the prairies with the passing of Sid McKnight Jr. on Dec. 16, 2019. Nature and the out-of-doors were just two of his many passions. For his efforts, he received the Wildlife Habitat Conservation Award in 2006. Sid had a joy for life and pursued many interests with keen focus and contagious energy.

His chosen profession was dentistry, becoming the first periodontist in Johnson County. His love for dentistry was exceeded only by the devoted care he gave his patients.

In his leisure time Sid enjoyed training his hunting dogs and taking them afield. In the summer his interests turned to fishing the waters of Lake Michigan. Sid’s love of music, especially jazz, consumed his high school and college years. He played drums in bands and ensembles. That love never died: In his early seventies he attended an adult jazz camp in Vermont just to see if he still had his “chops.” A loyal Jayhawk, he attended all the home games until mobility issues ensued. Then he took pleasure in sending friends and family to enjoy his seats in Allen Fieldhouse.

His retirement job came out of his appreciation of nature. He was invited to serve on the board of the Kansas Nature Conservancy and ultimately served as its chairman. When Sid married his high school sweetheart, Carole, in 1962, they could not have imagined creating a country home on never-plowed prairie where merely looking out the window was an adventure. As he would often say to Carole, “we are living in the Discovery Channel!” Holidays were shared there with children and grandchildren who inherited his passion for the prairie.

Sid was born in Tyler, Texas, on Dec. 20, 1940, and was just a week shy of his 79th birthday when he passed away peacefully. His Linn County friends enriched his life in so many ways. A memorial service honoring Sid’s life was held Dec. 21 in Kansas City.

 

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