Robert G. Knight - Oct. 22, 2015

ATHOL - Robert G. Knight, M.D., 86, of Athol, passed in peace at his home surrounded by his family on Oct. 22, 2015. He was born Dec. 3, 1928, in Greenfield, the son of the late George R. and the late Marion A. (St. Germaine) Knight.

He is survived by his loving wife, Susan (Kenney) Knight; three daughters: Robin (Michael) Aronson of Weston and Waterville Valley, N.H., Heather Holster of Waltham and Lisa Knight of North Hollywood, Calif.; two sons, Scot (Karla) Knight of Swampscott and Douglas Knight of Stow; their mother, Janet Wilson Knight of Gardner; one stepson, Todd (Michelle) Kenney of Essex; eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.

Dr. Knight graduated from Saint Michaels College in Vermont in 1950 where he completed his pre-med training, then attained his medical degree from Georgetown University Medical School in 1954; he later completed his medical internship at Worcester City Hospital. Continuously keeping up with the latest advances in medical technology, he pioneered endoscopy and invasive laparoscopy techniques within the state of Massachusetts as well as completed advanced studies in heart valve replacement procedures. He was a member of the American Academy of Family Practice. In retirement he would later travel to India and Kenya, instructing standard and innovative surgical practices. Dr. Knight was known to his colleagues, nurses and patients as a compassionate and caring family physician, a skilled surgeon, and chief of surgery at Athol Memorial Hospital for nearly 40 years. He had a passion for teaching and sharing those things he loved.

A proud patriot, Dr. Knight served in the Navy as a commissioned lieutenant at the Guam Naval Base in the South Pacific and later the reserves, and was released from active duty on Oct. 13, 1958. He was assigned to surgical service, specializing in obstetrics and went on to deliver thousands of babies during his distinguished career.

A man of great faith, Dr. Knight educated new devotees to the church on the precepts of the Catholic faith at Our Lady Immaculate as a Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) instructor. As a mentor to the many in attendance, his passion for his convictions was inspiring.

Dr. Knight saw God in nature, and was an avid hiker. He was awarded the Appalachian Mountain Club certificate "4000-Footer Club of the White Mountains" for having climbed to the summits of all 48 of the official peaks of the White Mountains. He also loved to kayak, canoe, sport parachute, and snow ski, and in his youth was an illustrious football player. Inducted into the Saint Michael's College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987, he was known as "Gluefingers" for his remarkable ability to catch passes.

He knew the larger mystery of life and the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ and hoped to impart a stronger faith within his family and community. It was his faith and love of this mystery of life and of death that helped his growing old. Death was his friend when he could no longer do all the physical, mental and spiritual things that he so treasured. He died a peaceful death. In his living and his dying he taught us the meaning of perseverance.

Calling hours will be held Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Fiske-Murphy & Mack Funeral Home, 110 New Athol Rd., Orange.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 10:30 a.m., at Our Lady Immaculate Church, 192 School St., Athol. 

Internment will be at a later date at South Cemetery in Orange, where military honors will be presented.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, if you so desire, to direct charitable donations to Camp del Corazon, 11615 Hesby St., North Hollywood, CA 90601 (

Fiske-Murphy & Mack Funeral Home, 110 New Athol Rd., Orange, is directing arrangements.

To send an online condolence, please visit mackfamily

Athol Daily News

PO Box 1000
225 Exchange Street
Athol, MA 01331
Phone: (978) 249-3535


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