JUNE 9, 2010
Ralph M. Knight
Ralph M. Knight died peacefully at his home June 2, 2010 surrounded by his family and friends. He was born April 19, 1915 in Limestone, Maine.
Mr. Knight spent the first 20 years of his life working on the family potato farms in Limestone. Ralph graduated Cum Laude from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1939 with a BA in Chemical Engineering and did post graduate studies at the University of Delaware. He spent his career working in the chemical and plastics industry at DuPont, Standard Oil of Indiana, National Distillers & Chemical Corporation and retired from Dart Industries where he was Executive VP and a member of the Board of Directors. Among his many accomplishments in this field was being instrumental in the development of radar used in the Battle of Britain and the development of polyethylene, ABS and polypropylene for many uses, including Tupperware. Ralph licensed this technology throughout the world. A Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Ralph was selected to be in “Who’s Who in Technology Today” by virtue of his significant contributions to the disciplines of advanced science and technology. He also was a member of the Manufacturing Chemists Association.
A resident of the Pinnacle Peak area for 35 years, Ralph founded the Greater Pinnacle Peak Homeowners Association, and served as both Co-founder of Arizona School Choice Trust and Co-founder of the McDowell Mountain Preserve. In addition, Ralph took the time to be very active in local politics. Together with Mayor Drinkwater he convinced the State Land Commissioner to preserve Pinnacle Peak as a park.
Ralph was a member of the Knights of Columbus and a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
Among his many hobbies, Ralph was a wonderful gardener and was noted for his ability to grow beautiful roses.
Loved and highly respected by his family and many friends because of his gentle and caring nature, Ralph is most often referred to as the finest man they have ever known.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Nancy, his daughters, Marie of Merritt Island, Florida and Deborah and husband, Matt Rinn, of Scottsdale, three grandchildren, four great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and his faithful friend and protector, Spicey/Alex.
He is predeceased by his son, Calvin, his parents Perley and Gladys, brothers, Donald, Vaughn, Paul, Sheldon, Earle, Bernard and sister, Phyllis.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the “Ralph M. Knight Scholarship Fund for Engineering and Science Students,” Catholic Community Foundation, 400 E. Monroe, Phoenix, AZ 85004.
Calling hours will be held June 11 from 4 – 8 p.m. at Messinger Mortuary, 8555 E. Pinnacle Peak Road and a Memorial Mass will be celebrated June 12 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Joy Catholic Church, 36811 N. Pima Road, Carefree. Reception to follow at the Church. Visit website www.dragonpoint.us.