Originally created 12/09/96

Knox, 61, business CEO, dies



Peter Seymour Knox III, prominent businessman and member of a prominent Augusta and Thomson family, died at his residence Sunday.

Mr. Knox, 61, was chairman and chief executive officer of Augusta-based Merry Land & Investment Co. Inc.

He is survived by his wife, Julia Patton Rimmer Knox; and his two sons, Peter Seymour Knox IV and David Allan Rimmer Knox; and one daughter, Julia Knox Lirette; all of Augusta. He also is survived by a brother, Boone Aiken Knox of Thomson; a sister, Nanci Knox Lewis of Waterford, Texas; four grandsons and one granddaughter.

Merry Land & Investment, which owns and operates more than 80 upscale apartment communities nationwide, announced a month ago that Mr. Knox had been diagnosed with intestinal cancer and would be away from his office indefinitely.

Mr. Knox was born in Augusta and grew up in Thomson. He was a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School.

Mr. Knox joined Merry Brothers Brick & Tile Co. in 1973 to head up its brick manufacturing business. Following the brick business' sale to Boral Bricks, he became the founder of Merry Land & Investment Co., which gained a position on the New York Stock Exchange in 1992.

Mr. Knox was a member of the First Union National Bank of Georgia's statewide board of directors and Coca Cola Bottling Co. United Inc.

He was a trustee of the Knox Foundation and a partner of Knox Ltd. He also served as a member of the Paine College Board of Trustees.

Mr. Knox was a founder and ardent supporter of the Sacred Heart Cultural Center as well as a benefactor to numerous charitable organizations throughout the area.

He was a member of Our Savior Episcopal Church.

Visitation will be at Sacred Heart today between 7 and 9 p.m.

The funeral will be at Sacred Heart at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Platt's Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Hugh Long, Pierce Merry, Tennant Houston, Mike Thompson, Hale Barrett, all members of the Board of Directors of Merry Land & Investment, and Dr. Joseph P. Bailey Jr. will serve as pallbearers.

Honorary pallbearers will be Joseph Bailey III, Ronald Benton, Dudley Bowen Sr., U.S. District Court Judge Dudley Bowen Jr., Woods Burnette, William Faughnan, Dr. Ernest Fokes, Dorrie Green, Werner Keller, Helmut Lauff, Hugh Long, Thomas Padgett, Haley Roberts, Ralph Simons, Ralph J. Simons Jr., Stuart Speed, Reinhard Witt.

The family requests that memorials be made to Sacred Heart Cultural Center and to Our Savior Episcopal Church.

Last year, Merry Land & Investment, which has real-estate holdings throughout the country, acquired 10 apartment communities for $213 million, increasing holdings by 18 percent and reported net income of $53.5 million.

Mr. Knox's father, Peter Knox Jr., was president of Knox Realty Investment Corp., the firm primarily responsible for the renovation of Augusta's historic district. Knox Ltd. bought the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in the early 1980s and renovated it. Today the building is used for weddings and cultural activities.