John William “Sonny” Knust peacefully left this world early Tuesday morning, October 18, 2016 shortly following his 87th birthday. He was lovingly surrounded by his family.
Born October 11, 1929, in Galveston, TX, John lived his whole life on the island. He met and began dating the love of his life, Lois Jean Herrin, while they were in high school. During their 67-year marriage, John was a devoted husband and proud father of their three children, Johnny, Lori and Randy. To his four grandchildren he was the “World’s Best Papa,” and they became the center and light of his universe.
John was a 1947 graduate of Kirwin High School in Galveston and attended St. Edward’s University in Austin. He maintained many of his school friendships throughout his life. As a youth he enjoyed participating in high school sports, and as an adult regularly played racquetball and continued his fitness workouts well into his eighties.
Educated in Catholic schools, John was a faithful and devout member of the Church his entire life. He was active in The Knights of Columbus for almost 70 years.
John retired in 1996 following a 47 year career in the cotton warehousing industry. He began work at Gal-Tex Warehouse in 1950, where he became general manager. In 1966, he started working at Bluebonnet Warehousing Corporation and served as Vice-President there for over thirty years. He also managed several commercial properties in the Houston area on behalf of Royal Management, Inc.
John was a lifelong proponent for Galveston. He held many positions within the island’s civic organizations including Airport Commissioner, Vice-President of The Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees, Board of Directors of the YMCA, Board of Directors of Junior Baseball, Vice-President of the Galveston Cotton Exchange, Galveston County Beach Park Board, Chairman of Galveston Park Board of Trustees, Secretary-Treasurer of the Gulf Coast Water Authority Board, and member of an advisory board at Moody Gardens.
John was an avid student of history and current events and greatly enjoyed discussing topics of the day as well as historical backgrounds. He genuinely appreciated just visiting with the people of Galveston, sharing their cares and concerns and highs and lows.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John J. “Jack” and Mary Kate Knust; and his sisters, Mayola Harris and Peggy Denson.
He is survived by his wife, Lois Jean Knust; sons, John Knust, Jr. and wife Susie of Galveston, Randy Knust and wife Natalie of The Woodlands; and daughter, Lori Gannaway and husband Dennis of Houston. Also surviving him are his grandchildren: Jill Gannaway and fiancé Kevin Donahoe, John Daniel Gannaway, Randy Knust Jr. and Hailey Knust, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
John’s family will receive visitors beginning at 9:30 am, Friday, October 21, 2016, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1010 35th Street. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Friday at the church with Father Richard Goodin, OFM, as Celebrant.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.