First Sergeant (ret.) Ernest "Suddie" McKnight Sr., 51, of Hinesville, departed this life on Dec. 22, 2012, at home with his family.
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He was born Feb. 9, 1961, in Beaufort, S.C., to Joe and the late Victoria Jefferson. He attended public schools in Beaufort County and went on to attend Voorhees College in Denmark, S.C. It was there that he became a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and met the love of his life, Linda Harris McKnight. After graduating and enlisting in the military in 1983, he and Linda married in May 1984 after she graduated. Their marriage was blessed with two sons, Ernest Jr. and Kevin.
He served 22 years in multiple assignments throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. His military career culminated with a combat deployment to Iraq and assignments at Fort Stewart, Fort Polk, La., and Fort Lee, Va., before retiring in 2006. At the time of his transition from earth to heaven, he had been employed for more than 25 years as a telecommunications specialist at Winn Army Hospital.
He gave his life to Jesus Christ and was an active member of the Mt. Zion Memorial Chapel in Hinesville, where he served faithfully. Deacon McKnight was a humble man and well known for his kind heart and willingness to serve. The name Ernest means 'serious' and he was indeed serious about the Father's business as he lived. He was a deacon, Men's Ministry leader and worked with the Mime and Youth Ministries for several years.
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to your own understanding," (Proverbs 3:5-6), was one of his favorite scriptures as he led his family in the ways of the Lord.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Victoria Jefferson.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Linda; his sons, Ernest Jr. and Kevin, of whom he was very proud, and who brought great joy to his heart; his father Joe (Debra) Jefferson; his five brothers, Leon McKnight, Herbert McKnight, both of Atlanta, Henry Milton of Beaufort; Steve Milton of Hilton Head and Carl Sampson of Beaufort; three aunts, Bertha (Albert) White of Beaufort, Florence Chisolm of Beaufort and Bertha Simmons of Boston; two uncles, Bermen Chisolm of Beaufort and Clarence (Marie) Chisolm of Beaufort; his mother-in-law, Dorothy L. Morrow of Augusta; his father-in-law, Alfred Harris Jr. of Clearwater, Fla.; his sister-in-law, Valene Harris of Bear, Del.; three brothers-in-law, Darell Harris of Augusta, David Morrow of Charleston, S.C., and Rodney (Jenya) Harris of Clearwater; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and brothers of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
The homegoing service and celebration of his life will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28, at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1370 Shaw Road, Hinesville. The Rev. Dr. M.L. Jackson will officiate and the Rev. Tom N. Johnson III will be the eulogist. Interment will be at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Glennville.
Dorchester Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Published in Coastal Courier from Dec. 24 to Dec. 31, 2012