Philip J. Knight
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Knight, Philip J. Retired Surgeon, died last week at age 76. He served South Central Kansas from 1982-2012, the majority of that time as its only pediatric surgeon. He departed happy, a little sooner than he had hoped, there was still so much more to see, do and dream. He is grateful to his patients and their trusting parents. He thanks his excellent pediatric colleagues who made his busy practice bearable. But he is most thankful for his late son, James, and wife of 50 years, Laura. She brought him joy while trying to keep him in line. He is also grateful for his 7 siblings, which made life fun. He would like to deeply thank Dr. Dennis Moore and Dr. Keck Hartman who served him so well until the end. Per his instructions, he was buried quickly and quietly. Downing & Lahey Mortuary - East Chapel. Share tributes online at:

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Published in Wichita Eagle from Sep. 11 to Sep. 15, 2019.
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19 entries
September 19, 2019
I didn't know Phil very well, but I admired him for his support of his wife, Laura, and his love of life-long learning. I'm so sad to hear of his passing but I know that he touched so many lives that his spirit will live on. Hugs and prayers for you, Laura, and your many family and friends that are grieving at this time.
Linda Sessions
September 19, 2019
What a wonderful surgeon and a great man. He taught me so much working in NICU Was always thoughtful with staff and families. So many memories. You will be missed, but always in are hearts. Debra Hoofer
Debra Hoofer
September 16, 2019
The Wichita area lost a fantastic Peds surgeon. His honesty at the bedside with the staff and parents was impressive. He told it like he saw it. I remember he would check his paper calendar to check his schedule for surgery; didn't need electronics.
Betty Pippin
September 14, 2019
My deepest condolences Dr. Laura, he was a very gentle man and great surgeon. My love and prayers to you. Irene Perez. TSICU, Saint Francis
Irene Perez
September 14, 2019
Dearest Laura and family,
We are saddened to learn of Phil's death. I hope you know how much he meant to this state and community, and most especially to all the patients and parents impacted by his selfless care and deep knowledge of pediatrics. He welcomed our pediatric and surgery residents, allowing them a unique opportunity to learn from the best. He always took our calls and came to the hospital when needed, no matter how tired he was or what he had planned. From a personal standpoint, he meant the world to our family and our young son. I remember Aaron saying how "cool" Dr. Knight was - he loved his stylish suits and shoes! What he really appreciated was how Phil would talk directly to him, never looking over his patient to talk to the parents. Aaron thought Phil had the perfect approach to explaining things in a way an 11 to 14 year old could understand. A man of few words, described by some as blunt, Phil could say what needed to be said while staying focused on what was best for his patients. His heart was forever in the right place. At the end of Aaron's life, Phil made a special trip to the hospital room to tell Aaron (and us) that he was sorry he wasn't able to do more and that he was honored to have been involved in his care. Please know that your wonderful husband will never be forgotten - especially by the families for whom he provide such excellent care at what often were the most stressful and vulnerable times of their lives. We admire you for sharing him with all us and for your deep devotion to him and our community.
Kathy and Mark Melhorn
September 14, 2019
Dr Knight saved my son's life, he inspired me to become a nurse and fight for my patients. I first met him as a young mother with a very sick baby boy. I didn't like him at first. He was very blunt about Matt's prognosis. I very quickly came to appreciate and value his honesty. I have left a couple of other tributes but I want to make sure Dr Knights family understands the impact he had on me and my family. I tried to make sure he knew but he impacted so many lives that I don't think he realized how much he changed my life. He is one of the biggest reasons I became a nurse. After 32 years I still think about him often. Several months ago I tried to find out if he was still working and was going to send him a card. I sent him cards throughout the years trying to express how much he meant to me and my family. He taught me so many things as a mother and as a nurse in PICU. To his wife Laura, thank you for being supportive of his long hours away from his family. I know even when he was home he was still working much of the time. He told me,as a young mother before I started nursing school, that he had spent his evenings researching what could be wrong with Matt and consulting with colleagues around the country. He would show his funny side in his progress notes and I often smiled when reading them. He had his own set of abbreviations GOK was God only knows. I need to stop writing as this post is already so long. Dr Knight you are a hero to me and my family. Because of you Matt has grown into a very greatful and healthy young Man. Dr Knight, I will never stop thinking of you and sharing all of the things you taught me.
Sandy and Matt Sparr
September 13, 2019
So sad to hear of Phil's passing. He was one of the brightest and most knowledgeable surgeons I have known. He called them as he saw them. Loved his straightforward manner. Steve Hutchinson, partner, resident and medical student with Phil Knight
Steven Hutchinson
September 13, 2019
I'm sad to hear of Dr. Knights passing, he did our sons surgeries. Blessings to the family.
K Wild
September 12, 2019
I will forever be grateful to this man that saved my sons life in 2004. My son was only given a 5% chance of survival due to short gut syndrome. For a few years we would visit Dr Knight on my sons birthday and give him a cake that said because of you, I'm ( however old Collin was that day) today. My son will now be 15 in a few days! I still think about Dr Knight often!! We are so blessed to have have such a wonderful surgeon in our community! Much love to his family. I know you sacrificed so that your loved one could save lives❤
Rachelle Haukap
September 12, 2019
Dr Knight was a phenomenal surgeon. He touched our lives when our first born son required surgery. I'm sure he has touched thousands of lives as he was such an amazing soul. May he Rest In Peace.
Crystak Anderson
September 12, 2019
Knew Dr.Knight for many years in NICU and admired him for all he did for our babies. Glad he was able to retire and enjoy life for a few years.
Nancy Egan
September 12, 2019
He was a great surgeon. I had great respect for him. May he RIP. Prayers for his family.
Debbie Ewertz
September 11, 2019
Laura, you and your husband helped so many people. I am so sorry for your loss. Both of you have given many memories, I cherish them all.
Joan Stallbaumer
September 11, 2019
When I was a medical student and resident, Dr. Knight taught me so much. I will never forget his wisdom, his many humorous sayings and and abbreviations (OGK, anyone?). I have thought of him and Laura many times over the past few years since he retired. He was a "force of nature" who will not be forgotten.
Kay Womack
September 11, 2019
Laura, I am saddened to hear of Phil's passing. He taught me so much about pediatric surgeries when I would take his cases at WSG. He was a wonderful man and I'm so happy I got to know him and you. Please know you are in my prayers. Love you, June Busby
June Busby
September 11, 2019
You are in my thoughts. I think of the two of you fondly.
Katy Campbell
September 11, 2019
I will never forget Dr.Knight . He was the surgeon for my newborn back in 1991. Thanks to his expertise my daughter is a healthy young woman. Forever Grateful to You....
Teresa Burns
September 11, 2019
Im so sorry for your loss, sending my deepest condolences, please take comfort in knowing that God cares personally for you and your family
September 11, 2019
Im so sorry for your loss, sending my deepest condolences, please take comfort in knowing that God cares personally for you and your family
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