KNIGHT, EARL P. “JOE”, 83, of West Greenwich, passed away at home, surrounded by dear friends and family, on Saturday, November 3, 2018. He was preceded in death by his wife of almost 60 years, Carol (Mackin) Knight on April 24, 2018. He leaves behind his children, Shelley J. Knight of Cranston, RI (and her husband James Clark), John T. Knight of West Greenwich (and his girlfriend Tracy Oliviera), and Heather J. Knight of West Greenwich (and her friend Pat Lemley) “and Jodi Laboeuf, his CNA, who cared for him so well and lovingly for the last year.”
He started repairing and selling cars in his early teens, out of a garage he and Ray Budziak built in his mother, Estelle Farrell Knight’s, back yard, and drove laundry trucks for Falvey Linen after school. He graduated from West Warwick High School in 1952, and remained close with many old friends from those days throughout his life. In 1960, he and Carole opened Knights Garage on Helen Avenue in Coventry, and subsequently moved the business to Cowesett Avenue in West Warwick in 1965, taking on Nissan, then Known as Datsun in 1970, plus BMW and Chrysler for periods during the 1970s. In the 70s and 80s, he and his son were very involved in the Datsun racing program, winning many SCCA regional and national races. Once he had left racing he bought an airplane for fun and started flying, and began collecting antique tractors and competing at tractor pulls at the local county fairs. He also got involved in collecting old cars and working with a local Model A Club. He developed an interest in colonial history in his later years, and collected a number of old and interesting volumes. He was truly a man of many interests and talents, with a kind and generous heart, and will be deeply missed by all of us who knew and loved him.
Visiting hours will be Wednesday, November 7, 2018 from 9 AM to 12 Noon with a Service at 12 Noon in the IANNOTTI Funeral Home, 415 Washington St. (Rte.117) Coventry. Interment in Plainland Cemetery, Coventry will be private for the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the ASPCA (www.ASPCA.org) would be appreciated. iannottifh.com