John Knight died peacefully in his sleep on 18th December 2020, having been both an accomplished Chemist and ardent educator of the next generation of scientists. Coming from a generation where those with insufficient resources were often unable to study full time, he worked as an analytical chemist in the laboratories of The Dunlop Company in the city he loved, Liverpool, while studying at evening classes to obtain his ONC and HNC.
A product of the grammar school system he went on the graduate as an Associate of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1965. He published his PhD in the September of 1965 the major part of which concentrated on Aflatoxins which, through their production in groundnuts infected with the mould Aspergillus Flavus, had been the cause of numerous poultry deaths in the UK linked to Brazilian groundnut meal.
Following Post-Doctoral research in Liverpool, and lecturing at Loughborough and Leeds Carnegie Colleges, in 1973, John became Head of Science and Maths at Colchester Institute of Higher Education. In this role, which he undertook for some 23 years until his retirement in 1996 he was able to fulfil his passionate desire to educate both the very able, and those not so gifted, to reach their full potential in the sciences, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2009.
John had a huge commitment to both his Christian faith and to the town of Colchester. He was well known around the local churches as a preacher and was active in youth work for many years. He was particularly renowned for his contribution to exploring the interface between faith and science.
Dr John Arthur Knight HeadshotPicture:
His desire to see every young person have opportunities in life lead him to becoming a founding director, and Chair for 15 years, of the Colchester YMCA. His commitment to education also involved being a governor of Alderman Blaxhill Comprehensive School for 40 years. In retirement John found time to be an active member of Grey Friars Guild and Colchester Probus where he was known for giving lectures which ranged from Jim Reeves to American First Ladies. His love of America took him to all 50 states a journey which he completed at the age of 80 indicative of his zest for life and commitment to everything in which he was involved.
John was a devoted family man and will be sorely missed by his wife Mavis, his three children Sharon, Cherith and Stephen and 19 grand-children and great-grandchildren.
Written by Richard Coward (son-in-law)
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