CLINTONVILLE - A Keeseville man who brought joy to the lives of many will be remembered once again in death.
Douglas O. Knight passed away Aug. 9 after a long battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Weeks later, his friends and family are organizing a new way to embody the mark he left on the community.
A special ceremony is planned for Sept. 11 when, in Knight's honor, a handcrafted, 32-foot northern red oak flagpole will be erected in front of the AuSable Valley Central School administration building.
The flagpole, crafted by Adirondack Flagpoles, cost more than $3,000, but with donations from dozens of individuals and businesses in the community, Knight's friends raised the money in just three weeks.
Knight was a well-known musician; part of the local bluegrass trio Three Doug Knight for more than 25 years. He was also a beloved bus driver for the AuSable Valley Central School District. In both capacities, he is known for bringing a smile to the face of others.
"He was really one of a kind," said George "Speedy" Arnold III, a fellow bus driver and bandmate who helped organize the flagpole raising. "There weren't many people in the town that knew him and didn't love him."
Knight's impression on the community could be easily seen Aug. 13 as more than 600 people attended his memorial service at Harmony Golf Club in Port Kent. Many of his close friends called to mind his creativity, confidence, and overall zest for life.
In his spare time, Knight enjoyed the outdoors, taking many opportunities to go hiking, skiing, or
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boating. He often put his hand to building and repairing wood furniture.
As his physical capacities slowly gave way to ALS through the last two years of his life, Knight had to give up his career and many of the hobbies he loved. Still, with friends close by his side, he continued to make a positive impact.