- About Us
Samuel M. KnoxJanuary 15, 1960 ~ May 18, 2017 (age 57)
Samuel Maitland Knox was born on January 15, 1960. He spent the first 12 years of his life at the small family farm on North Wilton Road in New Canaan, Connecticut. Sam was the youngest of the four Knox children. He was adorable and lovable from the start. From a young age, Sam learned to do many things alongside his father, the man he idolized. It was not uncommon to see Sam with his own toy “tools,” making some repair just like his dad. In this atmosphere, life was full of joy and purpose.
Sam graduated from Franklin Regional High School, in Murrysville, Pennsylvania in 1978. He then began working side by side with his brother, Randy, in a successful sandblasting business. They were a fabulous team who read each other's next move. The Arizona heat and sunshine was calling his name, so Sam moved to Phoenix where he became a highly successful highway line striper throughout that state. He was meticulous in his work, and contractors on many jobs would smile broadly when Sam arrived on the job, knowing that it would be close to perfection when completed. Driving through Arizona, it is very possible that Sam may have painted the lines on the roads that keep people safe. Sam was a hard worker who was dependable and successful with most tasks. Very mechanical with his hands and mind, it was evident that Sam’s early learning from his father carried on through his life.
After living for years in Arizona, Sam reconnected with his first love from Pennsylvania, Maryanne Hanks, and they married. They had no children but were devoted to Cocker Spaniels. Although the marriage didn't last, Sam’s devotion to dogs did. They were his best friends. Sam’s devoted dog Sammy (named by Maryanne), a Maltese/Poodle mix, survives him.
Sam was loved by many people. He was fortunate to have three biological siblings and five step brothers and sisters who appreciated his wit, his sarcasm and his desire to find joy. He was there to lend a hand when it was needed and thrived on being useful. He had a beautiful heart and a generous spirit.
Sam’s greatest struggles came from mental illness, specifically, depression. He found support and treatment after coming to Grand Rapids, Michigan where he could be near his father and step-mother. He received great support and guidance from family members Lisa (Smith) and Bill Ruoff, as they helped Sam navigate the mental health system in the state. Trying all the current therapies available to address his depression, nothing was able to relieve it. This frustrated and saddened him further, but he kept fighting. In the end, Sam was given the gift of dying peacefully in his sleep by natural causes, and his suffering was ended at last.
Sam was preceded in death by his parents, John Randall Knox, Faith Griggs Knox, and his beloved niece, Alison Sanders. His Knox siblings and their spouses and children; his step-mother, Sue Knox, and his Smith step-siblings and their spouses and children survive him.
There will be a ceremony to be held in honor and celebration of Sam Knox in Peru, Vermont where the Knoxes have held a family home and land for 5 generations. A memorial service is also being planned in the area of Grand Rapids, MI. Memorial contributions are suggested to: Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan 107 Oakes SE / Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503 / 616-389-8601.