Robert “Bob” Townsend Knox, 86, of Elon passed away on Sunday, October 10, 2021 at Alamance Regional Medical Center.
Born in Ashland, KY, he grew up in Huntington, West Virginia. He was the loving husband of Jean Hendley Knox, who survives and the son of the late Emory Knox and the late Beatrice Townsend Knox.
Bob attended Fork Union Military Academy for five years, graduating in 1953. He went on to graduate from Marshall University and later Duke Divinity School with a master’s degree in sacred theology. He also had extensive studies at Butner Rehabilitation Center and Dix Hill Mental Hospital in Raleigh, NC.
Bob served the United Methodist Church in the Virginia Conference. He served as an associate in Fairfax, then went on to start a thriving new church, Messiah Methodist in Springfield. He served churches in Waynesboro, Salem, Alexandria and Arlington, where he retired from Cherrydale United Methodist Church in 1999 and was awarded Pastor Emeritus of that church. He was a member of the Virginia Conference Board of Education, Conference Board of Pensions, Boards of Trustees for Ferrum College and Randolph- Macon Woman’s College. He served as Chairman for the Committee on Higher Education, Chaplain of the Practical Nursing Program, President of the Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry and three years as Chaplin of the Virginia Senate. He was active in the community, taking part in the local Councils on Mental Health, Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club. Bob was an instrumental part in starting the program “Life of Elon” at Elon University.
Fork Union Military Academy changed his life and gave him confidence in his abilities and a strong religious foundation. He preached at the Alumni Memorial services and addressed students on various occasions. He always tried to convey to the cadets at the academy an appreciation for both the education and character-building values that they were receiving.
Bob was an accomplished musician. He was an excellent pianist and played many other instruments. He enjoyed painting and was a big supporter of the arts.
In addition to his wife, survivors include two daughters, Kathryn Knox Maeder and husband Troy of Marietta, GA and Karen Knox McMullen and husband Todd of Fredericksburg, VA; and two granddaughters, Alexandra Maeder and Abigail Maeder, both of Atlanta, GA.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, October 15, 2021 in the Chapel at Front Street United Methodist Church at 2:00 p.m., officiated by Rev. Marshall Old. The family will receive friends following the service in the Heritage Center.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Front Street United Methodist Music Fund, P.O. Box 2597, Burlington, NC 27216 or Elon University, “Life of Elon”, Campus Box 2615, 100 Campus Drive, Elon, NC 27244.
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