Civic leader Knox remembered

Chronicle file: RAINIER EHRHARDT/STAFF
Boone Knox, left, and Mayor Deke Copenhaver during the KROC Center groundbreaking, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.
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THOMSON --- Boone Knox, a civic leader, business Hall of Fame inductee and philanthropist, died Thursday after a long illness. He was 74.

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Boone Knox, left, and Mayor Deke Copenhaver during the KROC Center groundbreaking, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Boone Knox, left, and Mayor Deke Copenhaver during the KROC Center groundbreaking, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.

Knox died at his home in Augusta shortly before 1:30 p.m. after a battle with cancer.

Knox, inducted into the Junior Achievement CSRA Business Hall of Fame in 2009, had two successful careers: one in banking and another in residential real estate.

He piloted the Bank of Thomson, later Allied Bank, to a merger with Regions Bank.

Knox also was the chairman of one of the largest apartment operating companies in the nation, Merry Land & Investment in Augusta, which merged with Equity Residential in 1998. He resigned from Equity's board last summer, in addition to real estate investment giant Cousins Properties, because of his illness.

Knox, a civic leader and philanthropist, can be remembered most recently for leading the fundraising campaign to bring the Salvation Army Kroc Center to downtown Augusta.

"The Kroc Center campaign absolutely could not have succeeded without Boone's leadership," said Salvation Army Capt. Todd Mason. "He led a campaign that was nearly three times bigger than any in Augusta's history while in the midst of the worst economic downturn in generations. It's been said several times that only Boone could have raised the funds to make The Salvation Army Kroc Center a reality in Augusta. ..."

The center's signature architectural feature, a brick tower, will be named in Knox's honor when the 17-acre complex opens its doors later this year.

A year ago, Augusta State University dedicated the Knox School of Accountancy after a $2 million gift from the Knox Foundation in honor of his deceased brother, Peter.

Braye Boardman, who, along with his brother Clay, has been involved with many historic preservation and redevelopment projects, said Knox was among the area's most generous and influential businessmen.

"It's a monumental loss for his family and our community," Boardman said. "He will be missed by family, friends and all who knew him."

From a business perspective, Thomson lawyer Bill Wheeler said, Knox "was one of the smartest men I've ever known."

As a golfer, he said, Knox, "... was an excellent golfer and a lot of fun to play with. He was a scratch golfer. He always shot around par."

Knox was a member of Augusta National Golf Club and played in the British Amateur in 1974.

Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry worked for Knox as a bank loan officer for many years when Regions Bank was known as Bank of Thomson and later Allied Bank.

"I've lost a friend and a gentleman that I really admired," Usry said. "Our community and those in the CSRA have lost a tremendous asset. He encouraged me and so many others to set high goals, to be ambitious in the things we undertook and to come out successful in the end."

Knox celebrated his 74th birthday Dec. 21 by having someone drive him from his home to the Knox Foundation in Thomson. It was the last time Knox would visit there as his illness worsened.

It didn't keep him, however, from wanting to spend time with his friends, such as Jim Alfriend, who knew Knox for more than 30 years.

"My most sincere and heartfelt thoughts and prayers for his family," Alfriend said. "He truly loved his family and was so proud of them. Boone directly and indirectly helped so many people that he came into contact with. I was fortunate to have been one of them. I can guarantee you this: When people remember Boone, they'll have smiles on their faces and in their hearts."

Knox is survived by his wife, George-Ann, and their three children and spouses, Elizabeth Knox Hopkins and William Cunningham Hopkins, Jefferson Boone Aiken Knox and Catherine Davis Knox, and Charles Edward Knox and Kimberly Nations Knox; and 12 grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at Sacred Heart Cultural Center in Augusta at 3 p.m. Monday.

Comments (22) Add comment
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ProudAFL1234
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ProudAFL1234 01/13/11 - 04:38 pm
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We have lost a great man.

We have lost a great man. Mr. Knox will be missed. God Bless Mrs. George-Ann and their family during this time of sadness.

Batman
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Batman 01/13/11 - 04:45 pm
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I totally agree with the

I totally agree with the comments above. I can't help but smile every time I think of Boone Knox. He certainly was a ' larger than life ' kind of a man. I know he will be missed.

dougk
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dougk 01/13/11 - 04:51 pm
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Thank you for the Kroc, Mr.
Unpublished

Thank you for the Kroc, Mr. Knox.

techadvocate
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techadvocate 01/13/11 - 05:01 pm
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Thank you for the Kroc and

Thank you for the Kroc and about two hundred other things in McDuffie and Richmond Counties. A true Southern Classic!

Augustaboy
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Augustaboy 01/13/11 - 05:34 pm
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My prayers to the Knox

My prayers to the Knox family. We lost a great man today.

Iamacyclist
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Iamacyclist 01/13/11 - 05:45 pm
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Boone and his brother Pete

Boone and his brother Pete were incredible men to work for during my tenure with Merry Land & Investment Company. Boone will be sadly missed by this community as has his brother Pete.

My thoughts and prayers to all of the Knox family.

mbdawg49
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mbdawg49 01/13/11 - 07:15 pm
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Chief, you will be greatly

Chief, you will be greatly missed here in Thomson

scoopdedoop64
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scoopdedoop64 01/13/11 - 07:16 pm
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So sorry to hear of Mr. Knox

So sorry to hear of Mr. Knox passing. My condolences and sympathy to the family. The Knox foundation has helped so many in Augusta.

tuffenuf4u
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tuffenuf4u 01/13/11 - 08:54 pm
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A true man among men! My

A true man among men! My prayers and thoughts go out to the family.

AnimalRescuer
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AnimalRescuer 01/13/11 - 09:11 pm
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My heart goes out to

My heart goes out to George-Ann and her family. May it comfort you to know that so many are thinking of you.
With love,
Elaine & Jan

theplanna
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theplanna 01/13/11 - 09:12 pm
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Mr. Boone is a large part of

Mr. Boone is a large part of my fond Thomson memories. My parents thought the world of him. The contributions of him and many other of the Knox family are much of the foundation the success of Thomson and McDuffie county sit upon. I'm sure he will be greeted boisterously by all the angels and missed by all us left behind.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 01/13/11 - 10:45 pm
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Bet heaven gave Boone a

Bet heaven gave Boone a Standing O...

Many Arrows
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Many Arrows 01/13/11 - 11:11 pm
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Boone Knox was one of a rare

Boone Knox was one of a rare breed of men about whom nothing negative was ever heard. At least not here.

Rest in Peace, sir, you did well by all of us.

derekdugan
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derekdugan 01/13/11 - 11:48 pm
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I had the honor of working

I had the honor of working with Boone on the Kroc Center campaign and am better for every day I spent with this great man. His wife and family truly follow his example and I hope everyone's prayers are with his wonderful family and their many close friends at this time.

Thanks, Boone - you will be missed.

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 01/14/11 - 01:46 am
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Boone Knox was a great man

Boone Knox was a great man and will be sorely missed. He along with his family has done many great things for others and this community. May he receive his rewards in heaven for his behavior on earth.

slickrayder
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slickrayder 01/14/11 - 08:00 am
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To echo the words of many, it

To echo the words of many, it was a pleasure to have said i knew this man . i was a caddie at the Augusta National,and may i say he was always laughing ,joking ,and having fun.A great man . A man with alot of views,a man that has done so much for his community ,as well as his family.....REST IN PEACE BOONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CabisKhan
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CabisKhan 01/14/11 - 09:06 am
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Boone and George-Ann had met

Boone and George-Ann had met my master 30 years ago and had supported his career in its early and precarious days offering patronage and encouragement and are an important element in his success today.

irishfarmer
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irishfarmer 01/14/11 - 09:52 am
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Rest In Peace. Thoughts and

Rest In Peace. Thoughts and prayers go otu to the Knox Family.

Pooh21
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Pooh21 01/14/11 - 10:19 am
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Mr. Boone will be remembered

Mr. Boone will be remembered with great love and affection by many people. I have such wonderful memories of him from my childhood on. He was a great man and an inspiration to many. My heartfelt prayers go out to "Miss" Georgeanne, Liz, Jeff and Charlie.

Indigo
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Indigo 01/14/11 - 11:02 am
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This is so very sad. Here was

This is so very sad. Here was a man who GAVE back.......did good and positive things and he was taken away from us. Every time you drive by the new Kroc center, remember, he was a cornerstone. He got in behind this and pushed hard. Without Boone, it wouldnt have happened. See you on the other side Mr Knox. Thank you for giving back.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 01/14/11 - 12:37 pm
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A pillar of the community, a

A pillar of the community, a person of substance, a person who will be missed.

Rest in Peace Mr. Knox,

Brad

tlcinga
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tlcinga 01/14/11 - 01:19 pm
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Liz, Bill & family: My

Liz, Bill & family: My sincerest condolences. Peace be with you.

llcook
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llcook 01/14/11 - 02:50 pm
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One would be hard pressed to

One would be hard pressed to talk with a local charity or look at a historic site in the Augusta community that the "Knox" family has not touched through either their personal efforts or financial generosity. Our community has lost a very special friend with Boone's passing and he will be sincerely missed. I know that many others join with me in expressing heartfelt condolences to George Ann and other Knox family members at their loss.

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