Gary L. Knight, 72, of Gates Four Golf Community, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s, passed peacefully on 6 November 2019.
He was preceded in death by parents Georgianna & Charlie Chipouras; Lloyd F. Knight, Bob & Leona Jones, and James & Helen Clarke.
Gary is survived by his wife of 27 years, Diana; sons: Gary M. Knight, Robert Knight and wife Vicki; daughters: Melissa Lawrence, Stacy Craver and husband Timothy; grandchildren: Rebecca Knight, Daniel Lawrence, Regina Reed, Diana Carkeet, Madeline Carkeet, Penelope Craver, and Lindsey Denton; great grandchildren: Kalen, Brylee, Kayson, Kanden, and Hannah; sisters-in-law: Debra Jones; Darla Brewster and husband Greg; step-brother: Peter Chipouras and wife Susan; cousins: Jim Clarke and wife Candy, Marilyn Hargreaves and husband Bruce, Kathy Edington and husband Dave, Scott Klughers and wife Coleen, Lee Klughers and wife Doreen, Wally Klughers, Kim Klughers, Jim Gasowski and wife Gloria, and Jerry Gasowski and wife Denise, and John Gasowski and wife Toni; and many more cousins, extended family and a host of friends.
A native of New York City, Gary grew up with his Clarke family cousins at Warner-Robbins AFB Georgia. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1966 and was a crew chief for C-130 Hercules cargo airplanes moving to Pope Air Force Base in 1968. Gary left the Air Force to work for Carolina Telephone Company assigned at Pope Air Force Base, which opened the door to his civil service career in 1983 as a “telephone man” with Ft. Bragg DOIM. Gary served as Fort Bragg’s deputy garrison commander from November 1998 until October 2007 under four garrison commanders, Colonels: Bill David, Tad Davis, Al Aycock and Dave Fox.
Many years ago, Gary hand-sketched his ideas for an entrance plaza on the All American Expressway to Fort Bragg, “Like the Jersey Turnpike for the All American,” “It’s something we really need.” LTG Dan K. McNeil said he liked the idea and the rest is history.” The plaza was built and today helps thousands of cars flow onto Fort Bragg. Gary received the most satisfaction from being involved in the upgrading of Fort Bragg’s antiquated telephone system in 1986 and the privatization of on-post housing. He rose through the civil service ranks to become the top civilian employee on the Fort Bragg garrison staff, but he never attended college. “Not one day,” he said. “I’m probably an anomaly. I don’t think it’s possible to do that. If I were starting over again, I couldn’t do that. I guess I’ve been in the right place at the right time.”
His many awards include selection as the 1989 Fort Bragg Executive of the Year, the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the Superior Civilian Service Award, the Commanders Award for Civilian Service, and the Achievement Medal For Civilian Service. Congressman Robin Hayes addressed Congress in October 2007, praising Gary as an “exceptional individual who dedicated himself to serving our Nation and the men and women of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.”
Gary continued service to Soldiers and their families after his retirement until 2013 working with Corvias Group military housing.
Loving thanks to those who were by our side through this journey; The Crossings at Wayside, Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Autumn Care of Fayetteville, Liberty Hospice and Cape Fear Valley Hospice, family and special friends.
There will be a memorial golf tournament supporting research for Alzheimer’s Disease combined with a celebration of life. We’ll announce a date in the next few weeks.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to Alzheimer’s Association Eastern North Carolina Chapter 5171 Gleenwood Avenue, Suite 101 Raleigh, NC 27612.
Online condolences may be made at sullivanshighland.com.
Services are entrusted to Sullivan’s Highland Funeral Service & Crematory.