Maynard L. Knight Sr.

Maynard L. Knight Sr.

Maynard “Shorty” Knight was welcomed into heaven by his joyful family members on February 20, 2019.

Born July 23, 1923 in Comstock, MI, Maynard was one of twelve children born to Roy and Irene (Pease) Knight. As a young boy growing up on their Martin homestead, Maynard enjoyed the outdoors. Although he regretted not completing high school, he was needed on the farm when his father passed away. Maynard became a milk deliverer for Holland Dairy as a teenager, utilizing a horse and wagon before upgrading to a truck! He always amazed his clients with his strength as he used all 5 foot 1 inch of his slight frame to hoist the huge milk cans onto the truck.

In 1943, while working for Checker Cab, he was inducted into the US Army. He served in the European Theatre during World War II with the 168th Engineering Combat Division as a sergeant in the Motor Pool, assisting with building roads behind the front lines and maintaining vehicles.

After he returned in December 1945, he eagerly awaited the return of the love of his life, Merle E. Landes, from her Navy duty. Shorty married Lefty on September 27, 1946, and they settled in the Otsego area where they remained for 70 years.

Most of Maynard’s work career was spent at Miller Lumber as a truck driver/dispatcher until they closed in 1984, but he then joined his niece Sherry as a part time employee, doing engraving work at B & C Trophy.

When not working he found time to assist with the needs of some of his kids’ activities. He and his brother, Kerm, built the original Otsego Band Boosters booth at the Allegan County Fair; he graduated from yelling in the bleachers to yelling on the sideline as a softball coach for his daughter, Amy, and her friends; and he worked tirelessly to teach his kids how to garden properly for their 4H projects!

Love and support of family was modeled all through his life as he joined with his siblings and their spouses over the years in building projects together, playing cards together, bowling together, golfing together, vacationing together and purchasing property at Sandy Pines together where he and Merle enjoyed 10 years of creating memories for their grandkids.

Maynard will be remembered for his kindness, ready smile, twinkling eyes and willingness to help others whenever a need arose. (“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Philippians 2:4 NLT)

Surviving are 3 children, Andrew & Pam Knight, Marlita & Bill Walker, Maynard & Donna Knight; son-in –law, Andy & Trish Winter; daughter-in-law, Pam DeBoer; 11 grandkids, Jefton (Jamie Sue) Knight, Adam (Samantha) Knight, Chris (Kara) DeBoer, Curt (Amy) DeBoer, Mikkel (Teg) Walker Tegelaar, Ben (Jenny) Walker, Melody (Keith) Walker Hendren, Amanda (Joe) Winter Tiseo, Allison Winter, Brett Knight and Alise Knight; 21 great-grandchildren; sister, Gloria Ritchie and sisters-in-law, Reva Knight and Doris Herrington.

Maynard was preceded in death by his wife of 71 years, Merle Landes Knight, daughters, Arlene Knight DeBoer and Amy Knight Winter; son-in-law, Steve DeBoer; brothers, Leslie Knight, Kermit Knight, Claude Knight, Fred Knight and Myron Knight; sisters, Florence Curry and Pauline Sturman and 3 infant siblings, Clifton, Margaret and Evelyn.

Friends may visit with Maynard’s family from 4-7 P.M., Monday, February 25, 2019, at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego.

A funeral service will be held at 1:00 P.M., Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at the Otsego United Methodist Church with Pastor Bill Walker officiating. 

A dessert buffet at the church will follow.

A private family burial will take place at Mountain Home Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan in gratitude for their wonderful care of Maynard.

Messages of condolence may be posted at


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Messages of Condolence

  1. Steve Slater says:

    Sending heartfelt condolences to the Knight family. Maynard was always a kind neighbor along with the whole family. Thank you Knight’s for the baseball field when we were kids, don’t know if we ever told you how much we appreciated it. Peace

  2. Jack Carlson (former neighbor) says:

    My condolences to the family, I was a young kid an
    d lived right next door to the knights, Maynard and Mrs Knight were always nice to me and Maynard Jr played baseball and football with me many times, thank you very much for your kindness of my youth, all fond memories of your family, thoughts and prayers for you all in your time of sorrow…

  3. Nancy and Rick Tiseo says:

    Wishing all the night family the strength of God during this sad time!

  4. steven c slater says:

    My condolences to the Knight family, some of the kindest people and great neighbors. Peace to you all.

  5. Verlen & JUdy Miller says:

    Sending love and prayers to all the family. I know he will be missed but also know he was a wonderful man and father. Love to all the family.
    Verlen & Jdy Miller

  6. Gary Rhoades says:

    Sorry for your loss, and prayers for the family.

  7. Arch & Sandy Woodstock says:

    Praying God’s comfort for your family.
    My memories of your father were of him as a “great” band parent and booster.

  8. Marilyn Welcher says:

    Thinking of you at this sad time. Sending prayers up for you and your family. Merle and Amy used to bowl on Wednesday nights at Plainwell Lanes. Had a lot of fun with them.

  9. Norbert & Mary says:

    Our deepest sympathy to Maynard and Donna on the passing of his father. He and you are in our prayers.

  10. Jan Baker says:

    Prayers surround all the family. Cherish the memories and live out the legacy of Maynard. I enjoyed knowing him and will miss him. Love to all of you.

  11. Fran Klooster says:

    I was glad that the Portage Senior Center Band was able to play a few times for Andy’s parents & then for his father. As I looked at them in the audience, I could see how proud they were of their son, Andy..

  12. Donna Miller says:

    Maynard and Donna, So sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. Love and sympathy to you and the Knight Family.

  13. Don & Joann, Jerry & Ted Reinhart says:

    Our Deepest Sympathy to Maynard & Donna & all of the Knight Families.
    Our thoughts & Prayers go out to all of you. So sorry that we will not be able to be there this time. We will be sending a donation to Hospice Care of Southwest Mich. in memory of your Father.
    God Bless all of you.

  14. Terry & Char Bonnell says:

    What an joyful homecoming for Maynard! Much love and prayers to the whole family as he will truly be missed.

  15. Marlita Walker says:

    Many thanks to all who have expressed your condolences, we have felt your prayers. Thankful for Dad’s good long life and legacy.

  16. Yvonne Slater says:

    The Knights were our neighbors for many years. Always friendly. Best kind of neighbors ever. May they be United in the glory land. I’m sure they are together again and will be missed by more than anyone knows. Heartfelt sympathies to the family.
    The Slater family. Yvonne, Gene and his family, Clayton and his family and Steve and his family.

  17. Marlita says:

    Thanks Yvonne- when we moved Mom and Dad in 2007, they mourned the house loss but also the tight knit community of neighbors that had been their “extended “ family over those 55 years!

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