SEPTEMBER 23, 1943 - MAY 13, 2020 John Law Knox, 76, of Reidsville went to be with his Lord on Wednesday, May 13. He was in the arms of his family when he entered Heaven's gate. John was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters-in-law, Patty Dow-Flippen and Jeanette Hawks, and many aunts, uncles and cousins. John was born in Monticello, Arkansas to Law Pierce Knox and Clara Mitchell Knox. After his father completed his service as a US Army chaplain in WWII, the family moved to North Carolina where his father served as pastor of Associate Reformed Presbyterian churches in Charlotte, Gastonia, Bessemer City and Stony Point. John graduated from high school in Statesville. He was an athlete and scholar in school, and became an Eagle Scout, supporting a rich tradition in the Knox family. During his youth, he always returned to Monticello to spend summers with his special "Unc" John and Aunt Effie. In Huntersville, John was one of The Cousins, a group who grew up together and made lots of special memories. He became an uncle at an early age to Karen, Sarah and Jamie. John graduated from Appalachian State University and became a teacher. He taught in Gastonia for one year, then moved to Reidsville High School. History was his primary subject, but his 29 year tenure included civics, geography, and English. He coached the Quiz Bowl teams, sold concessions, and tried to avoid chaperoning school dances. He influenced a generation of young people with his love of history, his sense of humor, his commitment to fairness, and his kindness. Throughout his life, he would encounter former students who would say "Hey Mr. Knox, do you remember?" His sense of honor and his commitment to doing right by our neighbors was something students absorbed in every class he taught. During breaks from teaching, John traveled the country. He hiked the mountains of Washington State, ice climbed in Alaska, enjoyed high tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC, and a thousand other adventures across most of his country. He loved exploring western Canada and getting off the beaten track. He enjoyed the people and places, appreciated the absurdities of life, soaked in knowledge, history and culture. John's interests were eclectic. From mysteries and history, to classic literature, popular fiction and almanacs, John was an avid reader. He could carry on a conversation on any subject and be sure to have a grasp of it. He loved words and language and was an eloquent speaker. He was a great lover of music, with varied interests from Leonard Cohen to Rosemary Clooney, from John Williams and classical composers, to movie sound tracks and Eva Cassidy. At his wedding, he danced to "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." John was truly a Renaissance man. After retiring from teaching, John opened TOAD HALL, an antique store in Reidsville. His lifelong love of antiques was tied in with his love and appreciation of history. John had the same appreciation for the people he met. If you were his friend, you were most fortunate. His generosity, wit, compassion, and willingness to listen were ever present. He was loyal and true. He had strong beliefs about many things. He believed in our military men and women, the value of a well told tale, and he believed there was no such thing as bad barbeque. He believed THE SEARCHERS was the greatest movie of all time. He was a wonderful storyteller and had a rich imagination. He created whole worlds that he shared with his wife and others. He loved Christmas, The Boston Red Soix, tradition and all things Scottish. John loved British Christmas crackers and introduced others to them so they could experience the simple joy of surprise. Pictures abound of family members wearing paper hats at Christmas. He loved all animals, his cats Victoria and McCabe, his boxer Duke, horses, and appreciated wildlife on every level. Seeing a turkey, deer or bear along the Blue Ridge Parkway as he traveled was cause for celebration. He appreciated the value of simple gifts and shared that with others. His sister-in-law Mona was reminded of him being like Beowulf who was considered "the most generous of men, the most gracious, the most protective of his people, and the most eager for honour." John's commitment to his faith was strong. From his early start as the preacher's kid to his final breath, John believed in the power of prayer and practiced it. His was a quiet faith, but very deep. He believed in living his faith and it was part of his daily life. Before John retired for the last time, he served as Vice-President for Education at Chinqua-Penn Plantation. As chief interpreter, he was able to help people absorb the rich history and lives lived by Jeff and Betsy Penn. It was also here that, among his coworkers, he found lifelong friends including Susan Gwinn and her husband Jim. He was proud of the work they were able to do at Chinqua-Penn. John's home at Toad Hall, Doe Run at Groundhog Mountain, was where he spent much of his time after his final retirement. He served as board member and president of the homeowners associations for several years. It was here that he met his wife, Nancy, and they were to enjoy the next 17 years together. John was called Prince Charming from the very first. Nancy said she'd waited her whole life to meet him and he was worth the wait. He was the perfect husband, friend, companion, son, brother and uncle. His presence so enriched the Semones clan that it was hard to remember a time without him. His dry wit, sense of the absurd, strong faith and support were in evidence in a million different ways. Every day with John was a gift. Before marrying Nancy, he told her he wanted to make her laugh every day of her life. John succeeded and he made her feel cherished and loved every day and she returned the sentiment. Being loved by John was the gift of a lifetime. From dinners at the Green Valley Grill to quiet nights reading at home, time spent with family to trips to Toad Hall, there was never a moment that Nancy or John would have traded to be somewhere else. Every step in their journey was one they shared and they loved each other "all there is." John is survived by his wife, Nancy Semones Knox, his brother James and his wife Lola Knox of Burlington; his mother-in-law Anna Semones of Fancy Gap, VA; sisters- and brothers-in law Michael and Helen Semones, Andy Semones, Ramona and Jereial Fletcher, Vincent and Karen Semones, Joe and Jill Semones, Danny and Anita Semones; many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews; The Cousins-Mert and Martha Rawdon, Frances and Larry Garner, Anna and Wayne Therrell, Spencer Tinkham, and Robert Tinkham, and many loving friends near and far. The family is very grateful for the loving care and support John received in the last months. He was blessed to have the care of Dr. Zachary Vaslow and his team including Kim and Tammy; the team from Advanced Health Care including Stacy, Shannon and Stephanie; the Reidsville Pharmacy crew; the team from Authora Care Collective (hospice) including Pam and Kristen; the team at Cone Medical Heart Group who helped us get this far; neighbors Penny, Tavin, Tyler, and Sam; Teresa Knowles; the Car (Needs) Guys; Claude Somers; the firemen of Reidsville Fire Station #2; and finally, to Mary Larach who moved heaven and earth to get John out of the hospital to spend his final days at home. Thanks to David Thomas, bagpiper extraordinaire, who performed a live concert for John the day before he died. We are grateful to nephew Kenneth Dow who did hero work to support us in the last several months; to all the friends and family who prayed, encouraged, laughed and cried with us; and to Anna Semones for being with us as our rock in the final days of John's life, and so many days before that. Every day was filled with grace, laughter and love. John's beautiful smile, his laugh and his spirit will always live on in the hearts of those who loved him. Our thanks to "The Citty Boys," John's former students, who were loving and gentle when the time came. Because of COVID-19, a private family graveside service will be at the Knox family cemetery at Huntersville ARP Church in Huntersville, NC on Sunday, May 17. The family plans to have a memorial service later in the year. It will be a Celebration of Life for John, and there will be barbeque. The family welcomes flowers. Donations may be made to Fancy Gap United Methodist Church, 578 Old Appalachian Trail, Fancy Gap, VA, 24328, the SPCA, Authora Care Collective (Greensboro Hospice), or the charity of your choice. Condolences may be sent to POB 2779, Reidsville, NC, 27323. Citty Funeral Home is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at our website www.cittyfh.com Citty Funeral Home, NC 308 Lindsey St. Reidsville, NC 27320
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