Robert E. Knight died in Loveland, Colorado on Saturday, August 13, 2016. He was born in Alliance, Nebraska, on November 27, 1941, to Edward M. and Ruth McDuffee Knight. He graduated from Alliance High School in 1959 and proceeded to Yale University, where he received his B.A. in Economics with high honors in 1963. He followed this with the M.A. in 1965 and Ph.D. in 1968 from Harvard University. While at Harvard, he worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the foundation of his lifelong interest in economics as distinct from banking. His career included 13 years as a monetary economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, where he rose to become Secretary to the Board. He moved from Kansas City to become the fourth generation to head the Alliance National Bank and Trust Company.
Throughout his career Knight was an avid professor of economics. He taught at the US Naval Academy, the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Park College, and the Stonier and Colorado Graduate Schools of Banking. After a semester of teaching legal aspects of banking at East Tennessee State University, he was delighted to receive a Dartmouth College of Law diploma. Dartmouth does not have a college of law, but his legal expertise was widely recognized. He headed the Bondholders Protective Committee in the 20 billion dollar bankruptcy of Executive Life Insurance Company in California. He authored numerous economic articles and spoke throughout the country on banking issues.
Bob was a proud eccentric who flew kites and enjoyed donning his clan kilts, Gunn and McPhee, for Scottish activities. Saturday nights found him listening to the Midnight Special from WFMT Chicago. Its music inspired him to bring Up with People to Alliance. Ever devoted to dachshunds, care for his dogs led him to support cancer research at the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine. What is learned in animal cancer research is applicable to treating humans. His concern for the human-canine bond prompted him to buy a property in Sun City, Arizona, and establish Duffeeland Dog Park for the community.
Bob was one of five 1963 Yale graduates featured in “Halftime,” a 1988 film aired on PBS about men at midlife. His involvement with Yale included Spring Break “Issues in Rural America” externships for Yale students. For more than a decade he was a member of the Harvard Graduate School Council. In 2015 a Japanese Professor of Economics for whom he served as thesis advisor came from Japan to honor him with a Sensei ceremony.
Knight was the Chairman of the Eldred Foundation and spearheaded the building of the Sandhills Center at the Knight Museum, a project envisioned by Victor and Martha Eldred. He was a 33 degree Mason, member of the Sons of the American Revolution, and a Presbyterian. During his Harvard years he attended Park Street Church, Boston, and subscribed to its weekly sermons ever after. He followed events in Alliance through the Times-Herald, which Eva read to him along with the Wall Street Journal. He succumbed to a one-in-a-million brain disease, cortico basal degeneration.
In 1966 he married his beloved wife, Eva Youngstrom Knight, who survives to cherish 50 years of memories. He was predeceased by his parents, brother, Frank M. Knight, and nephew, Brian A. Knight. He is survived by a niece, Celinda M. Knight. Survivors also include his dachshund, Heather, and her son, Tootle.
Memorials are suggested to the City of Alliance Fountain Fund or to the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University.
Funeral services will be Friday, August 19, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at the United Methodist Church with Pastor Gideon Achi officiating. Burial will be in the Alliance Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with family being present from 4-7 p.m. at the Bates-Gould Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be left at www.batesgould.com