John Albert Knox

Date of Birth

October 22, 1916

Date of Death

April 27, 2007

City of Death

Santa Monica

John was born on October 22, 1916 in Shawnee, Ohio and died April 27, 2007 in Santa Monica at the age of 90 of a massive stroke. The son of Aaron and Maggie Mae, John was the sixth of eight children, seven of whom lived to adulthood. He was raised on a farm and educated through the eighth grade walking the proverbial miles through snow to get to school. In fact he went through the eighth grade twice in order that his youngest sister could go. He went into the Army Air Corp at the onset of WWII, and for a time, was stationed close to home. At one point he was stationed in Panama where he was a baker, and perhaps this is where he fine-tuned his love of anything sweet. After the war he hitchhiked to California, ending up in West Los Angeles where he had a job in a drug store diner as a short order cook. Using the GI Bill, he honed the skills he learned from his father and went to night school to study carpentry, which became his life’s work. The drug store owner’s daughter was friends with Ruth Rotman and she fixed John and Ruth up on a blind date. They were married three years later on September 18, 1949. Two children followed, Barbara (son-in-law Jeff) and Steve (daughter-in-law Miriam and two granddaughters, Tracey and Allison), who had the good fortune to be raised in two houses built by their father, one in Venice and one in Mar Vista. All the while John, as a self-employed carpenter, managed to provide for his family and feed his passion for travel, taking his family camping across country visiting many national parks each summer when his kids were out of school. Starting out with a 1952 Dodge truck for work, he traded it in for a 1970 Dodge van, setting it up for both work and travel. Later as he approached retirement, Ruth and John got the first of several RVs and joined an RV camping club through the Culver City Elks, making many wonderful friends. Even though this gentle, uncomplaining man was struggling with numerous health issues over the last 10 years or so of his life, he never stopped talking about wanting to take this trip or that. His last hours were pain-free and his family knows he is once again whole. A celebration of his life, featuring his favorite course of the meal- dessert- is planned for mid-summer.


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