Longtime Rocky Grove fireman honored with drive-by parade

From staff reports

The Rocky Grove Volunteer Fire Department honored one of its own on Friday with a 15-unit fire truck parade past his home.

William B. Knox Jr., a volunteer firefighter for more than 50 years, was also presented a white fireman’s helmet and inscribed plaque in recognition of his dedicated service to his community and the fire department.

Joining the presentation were department firefighters and Knox’s family. The Jan. 8 date also marked his birthday.

The 81-year-old retired Joy Manufacturing employee joined the Rocky Grove department in June 1966 and has remained an active member ever since.

Jeremy Rankin, president of the Rocky Grove Volunteer Fire Department board of directors, said Knox served on “just about any committee … and has been chairman of several of those committees.”

Knox was first elected captain in 1970 and served until 1975 and later again in 1977. After serving as second assistant chief and then first assistant chief, the firefighter was elected chief in 1982 and served six years in that position.

In addition to the fire and emergency services duties in the department, Knox was elected president of the fire department in 1990 and also served several years as assistant treasurer.

In 2003, Knox was elected to the department’s board of directors, serving as president for several years. He remains a member of the board.

Knox was active in a number of firefighter organizations and was chosen as the fire department’s delegate over the years to the Northwestern Firemen’s Association, Venango County Firemen and Chiefs Association, the Firemen’s Association of the State of Pennsylvania, the Legislative Federation and the Central District Firemen’s Association.

He presently serves as the elected director from the northwest chapter of the Firemen’s Association of the State of Pennsylvania.

Knox, an avid hunter and Pirates and Steelers fan, and his wife, Carol, have five children, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

“He loves spending time with his family and friends,” said Rankin. “They became ever so important to him in November 2002 when he was diagnosed with cancer. … There have been some rough years as he continues his battles with medical issues but he is a fighter.”