The Official Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas
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John B. Knox, Jr.John B. Knox, Jr.

The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum is saddened to report the passing of Mr. John B. Knox, Jr., of Giddings, Texas. Mr. Knox was made an honorary board member of the museum in recognition of his and the Knox Family's landmark efforts on behalf of the Hall of Fame and Museum.

The Knox Family has been a major force in the development of the Hall of Fame and Museum. John -- with his late brothers Robert and Louis and surviving sister Jo Knox Marcia -- led the effort to build The John Knox (Sr.) Texas Ranger Memorial Center banquet hall. Their donations of family artifacts have greatly enhanced the museum collections. And before his passing, John Knox Jr. bequeathed a substantial art collection to the museum.

John was a kind and gentle man who enjoyed making the life of those around him better. He sought to avoid recognition in life, but his spirit and memory will live on in the many people whose lives he touched.

—Byron A. Johnson, Director

John Bates Knox, Jr. entered this world on May 22, 1924, fifteen minutes before the completely unexpected arrival of his twin brother, Robert. When their older sister, Jo, saw them for the first time and discovered she had two brothers instead of just one, she anxiously asked whether they were going to get to keep both of them, or would they have to give one back. She was assured they were both staying.

As children, the Twins were so close that they communicated to each other in their own separate language that no one else, even in the family, could understand. They didn't really learn to speak English properly until they entered the first grade when the teacher couldn’t understand them.

He was born in Giddings, Lee County, Texas, into the First Presbyterian Church. He and his twin brother joined the church of their parents in May, 1933 when they were nine years old. He was a faithful and devoted member for the remaining sixty-nine years of his life, serving on the Sessions several times.

John graduated from Giddings High School. On February 17, 1943, he was inducted into the United States Army, along with his brother, Bob, and served during World War II. John and Bob were stationed and served together. His company of Combat Engineers was shipped overseas, and after thirty days and nights landed in New Guinea. Later his company was involved in the Philippines invasion of Leyte, and then of Luzon, and its preparations for the invasion of Japan was only halted by the U.S. dropping the atomic bombs on Japan.

Mustered out of the army in 1946, John returned home to Giddings. In September of that year he enrolled in Austin College, a Presbyterian School in Sherman, Texas. He transferred to the College of Mines, El Paso, then to the University of Texas in 1949, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. After a brief adventure prospecting in the western states, he returned to Giddings, and with his brother, joined their father in running Lee County Land and Abstract Company, a business they carried on for many years after their father passed away in 1964.

In all events throughout his life, John was joined by his beloved twin brother, Bob. As the Knox Brothers, they were an integral thread in the fabric of life in their hometown here in Giddings, Texas. Except for nineteen weeks of army basic training, they were together practically everyday of their lives, until Bob’s death on June 28, 1999. Many of John’s friends and family were concerned about how he would cope with living alone after Bob was gone, but his faith in God, sense of duty and love of family and friends kept him strong and kept him going.

John loved his Church, his country, his family, and friends. He was proud of his military service, his degree from the University of Texas, his work at Lee County Land and Abstract Company, and his contribution and participation in the "Great Oil Boom" in the Giddings Austin Chalk Field. He was an honorary member of the Board of Directors for the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas. He was an active and devoted member of the J. D. Giddings Masonic Lodge for 55 years and was honored last year by the Golden Trowel Award, the highest honor that is bestowed upon a Mason, and is not often given.

John did not want people to "fuss" over him. Without wanting to flaunt his charity, he loved to give. He was always the one to contribute to a good cause, the first one to inquire whether funds were needed. He loved to invite friends and family out to dinner and pay for everyone. If anyone else tried to pick up the check, an argument would usually ensue, which he would cap by saying, "You’re in MY bailiwick, I should pay!" He usually won. He will be remembered for his generosity, his solid conservatism, his attention to detail and his memory for dates, his warm smile and his geniality. He will be missed for his kindness, his old world courtesies and Southern gentleman manners, and his dependability.

John Knox left this world from his home, quietly and without fuss, on Monday evening, October 21, very suddenly and swiftly, as he was preparing to attend a Masonic meeting. His passing appeared to be swift and merciful.

He was preceded in death by his beloved brother, Robert Knox, and his youngest brother, Louis Knox. Survivors include his older sister Jo Knox Marcia of Dallas, his sister-in-law, Evelyn Knox of Giddings, his nieces Jo Byrd and Roy Wolin of Dallas, Judy and Doug Morton of Fort Worth, Barbara and Charles Cuningham of Caldwell, and "adopted" niece, Dorice and Larry Perryman of Conroe, and 5 great-nieces: Deborah Byrd, Margaret Cunningham, Sarah Byrd, Joanna Cunningham and Katherine Cunningham.

The Official Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas
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