York City has lost one of its biggest supporters, Douglas Knight, and the community is already feeling the void he’s left behind in his death.
Knight, 46, passed away on Friday. His wife, Korey, shared the news publicly with York City community this weekend.
“He resigned his position as York City’s cheerleader Jan. 4, 2019,” she wrote early Sunday morning.
Korey Knight said she returned home Friday evening to discover that her husband had died, but noted that he did not suffer.
Over the weekend and spilling into Monday, social media feeds were overflowing with condolences from a shocked and saddened community.
Connecting the dots
Knight frequently networked at David Smith’s coffee shop, i-ron-ic, 256 W. Philadelphia St.
“He always was the cheerleader behind you, even with the craziest ideas,” he said.
Smith worked with Knight to organize the 275 Birthday Bash for York in 2016, and said Knight was instrumental in bringing pedicabs to York.
The last time Smith saw him at the coffee shop, he was busy “connecting the dots” by chatting with the customers, and Smith didn’t have an opportunity to speak to him.
“I just thought he was going to come back the next day,” he said. His presence is already missed.
“We all have to be Doug Knight and be connectors now,” Smith said.
Knight was born in Mount Holly, New Jersey, and grew up in Scranton and Portsmouth. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1996 and lived in Washington, D.C. for 16 years before moving back to Pennsylvania, according to his online bio.
In York, he was the chief connector at Connect the Dots Movement, a platform he used to work local nonprofit organizations to improve the community.
“Doug’s expertise, generosity and passion for the city of York came through in every conversation,” said Philip Given, York city spokesperson.
“He truly was the ‘chief connector’ during his time here and you would be hard pressed to find someone in York that hasn’t been impacted by Doug’s work in some way,” he said.
Meagan Hess Given, executive director of Give Local York, took over Knight’s position at Downtown Inc in 2014. She described him as a “larger than life” figure who possessed a talent for connecting people.
“He did that everywhere he lived,” she said. He helped organizations find their purpose and potential.
“He was the physical embodiment of a high five,” she said.
Services on Friday
A memorial mass will be held Friday, Jan. 11 at 12 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 251 E. Main Street in Dallastown, which will be preceded by a visitation from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., according to his obituary. A public celebration of his life will be held Saturday, Jan. 12 at York Elks Lodge 213, 223 N. George Street.
In lieu of gifts, the community is asked to consider making a gift to a nonprofit organizations.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Knight to cover his funeral expenses.