Richard Lendall Knight, 87, of Columbia, Kentucky, died peacefully surrounded by family on Friday, January 27, 2023, at 9:15 A.M. He was born May 2, 1935, in Lebanon, New Hampshire, to the late Ralph and Thelma Bennett Knight. He was raised in Montpelier, Vermont and enjoyed working at his uncle’s Oliver Tractor dealership and on the farm. Richard obtained a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. While at RPI he met his wife of 62 years who obtained her teaching degree at nearby Albany State. It turns out that all three of his sons eventually became Mechanical Engineers too.
Richard’s first job was with Oliver Tractor Corp. in Cleveland, Ohio where he designed and tested crawlers. When Oliver closed its doors, he moved his enthusiasm to Euclid Division of General Motors where he began as a test engineer for off highway mining trucks. During the next 33 years Richard designed and tested these heavy-duty vehicles and covered most of the United States, Europe, and Australia.
In the early 1980’s after spending years vacationing at Lake Cumberland, Dick and Mary bought a small farm in Columbia, KY and moved there permanently in 1993. He was known as the ultimate do it yourselfer and kept busy building their home and shops, maintaining the land, and collecting interesting things, especially Oliver Tractors.
He loved to have friends and family visit the farm to share his passion for tractors and all things farm related including the family dogs and cats. He was very patient and taught his kids and grandkids the skills needed to navigate life successfully. He was very creative and his career as an engineer was remarkable. If you needed something to do, he was always able to find a project for you and jump right in to teach, help, and encourage. One of his favorite ways to show his love for you was to work side by side on a project and accomplish wonderful things together.
His wife – Mary LaPorte Knight of Columbia
Three sons – David Knight and his wife Kelly of Carolina Beach, North Carolina, Daniel Knight and his wife Deborah of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Mark Knight and his wife Terri of Winchester, Kentucky
Six grandchildren – Kara Lee and her husband Adam of Raleigh, NC: Kortney Fuller and her husband Buck of Savannah, GA; Austin Knight and his wife Paula of Austin TX; Daniel Knight and his fiancé Alyssa of Waterloo, IA; Mark Knight and Luke Knight of Lexington, KY.
One great-grandson – David Kent Lee of Raleigh, NC.
His Sister-in-law – Barbara Schreiner of Ocean View, Maryland
His Brother-in-law – Peter LaPorte and his wife Joanne of Plantation, Florida
His niece – Susan Gardner of Albany, New York
His nephew – Thomas Hiney and his wife Elise of The Netherlands
His four-legged friends – Sadie and Trouble
The family will receive visitors on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 from 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. at Grissom-Martin Funeral Home with Cremation to follow. Instead of sending flowers and gifts, the family would appreciate a donation to Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, Kentucky, 42728 in memory of Richard Knight. Envelopes will also be available at the funeral home.
Grissom-Martin Funeral Home in charge of arrangements