Obituary for George Clifton Knox
Mr. George Clifton Knox, age 94, passed on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017 at his residence.
Born on Sept. 11, 1922 in Rowan County, he was the son of the late Clifton and Moena Sherrill Knox.
He attended the Landis Colored School, which was later changed to Aggrey Memorial High School, where he graducated. Mr. Knox earned his Bachelor of Science and AMS degrees from North Carolina A&T State University and an advanced principal’s certification from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was an outstanding athlete.
A member of Sandy Ridge A.M.E. Zion Church, Landis, he was the Former Chairman of the Trustee Board and served in many other capacities.
Mr. Knox served in the United States Army during World War II.
As an educator, he began student teaching at Carver High School in Kannapolis. His career started at Warren County Training School where he coached football, basketball, baseball and teaching history and concluded his career as the appointed principal of segreagated R.A. Clement School in Cleveland in 1956. With that appointment, Mr. Knox became the first African-American principal of an integrated school in Rowan County in 1968, when R.A. Clement became West Rowan Junior High School.
Mr. Knox was well known as a Black pioneer in Rowan County education and politics. In 1986, he was the first African-American elected as a Rowan County Commissioner and served until 1990. He received the Distinguised Service Award from NC A&T, Rowan County Board of Education Award, Cabarrus County African American Hall of Fame and dozens of other humanitarian awards.
Mr. Knox was a member of the N.C. A&T State University Alumni Association and was inducted into that universities sports hall of fame.
In addition, he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Rowan County YMCA, Salisbuy-Rowan Community Service Council and Board of Directors at Rowan Cabarrus Community College.
His memberships consisted of Optimist International, N.C. Division of Principals, N.C. Congress of PTA, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and numerous others.
Indeed, Mr. Knox has accomplished many firsts in his lifetime. Those who knew him, know that he made his parents, the late Moena Sherrill and Clifton Knox, and only sister, the late Anita Knox Sharpe, very proud. Along with wife, Mary H. Knox; sons, Gregory K. Knox, and the late Earl Todd Knox; two grandchildren, Earl Todd Knox, II and Zuri Knox; and three great-grandchildren, Zara, Alljan and Ava; goddaughters, Sheila Long Kelly and Vanessa Harris; and other relatives and friends.