Dick McKnight

First post: Mar 3, 2018
My husband Dick has worn  many hats in his 73 years—a son, a husband of 50 years, a father, grandfather and even a great grandfather.  He was a journalist putting out the paper in Newaygo, a town of 1800 as a college kid, as a writer for the Grand Rapids Press during college, and then Editor of the Westland Eagle, while in law school at U-D,   He became a lawyer in 1970, serving as a legal advisor to Detroit Police Chief John Nichols,  then as a lawyer in private practice representing police unions and then all kinds of people.  He served as a Juvenile Court Referee from 1996 til 2006. He  handled some legal work after retirement, mostly representing friends of our children.  He is now an attorney Emeritus with  the State  Bar.

He has always loved politics, handling Police Commissioner John Nichols campaign for Mayor in 1973, helping Sandy Levin in his Governor’s campaign in 1974, and then working a loyal foot soldier in the Democratic Party.  He chaired the 13th Disitrict Democratic Party from 1992-1998.  He served as chair of th delegation from the District at the National Convention in New York in “92 an Chicago in “96.  He got back in the campaign trail in 2016, where he volunteered at the Clinton for President headquarters, and has come active in the local Westland Democratic Party.  He just had Pat Miles, of Grand Rapids,  the former US Attorney in western Michigan named  by President Obama to come to Westland.  Pat spoke to a large crowd January 30., while Dick was in ICU at Henry Ford Main.

Most of all he loves his family, our children Mollie and Ted, who went to heaven far too soon in1908 and 1910.  He and I love our grandchildren
Emily McKnight, Sam, Gena, Jessica and Kimberly Taylor and Christian  Feliks.  Our great  grands are Bobby and Jordan Zachary and Mollie Rose Temple.

But what Dick has also spent 25 years living with Parkinson’s.   He has been in several trial studies, which has kept him ahead of the disease for a long time.  He gave up driving over 15 years ago, when he knew he as not a good driver anymore. He had the Deep Brain Surgery in 2012, where he was awake for most of the surgery.  It made a huge difference in our lives.  He just had his third battery put in his chest.  This one will last for nine years, but I need to regularly recharge his battery.  His back began to fall apart,  A 14 hour complicated surgery that ended his pain and he was once again 5’11.”  He and I ran the Ann Arbor Parkinson’s Support Group for nearly five years and then on the Parkinson’s Board of Directors.

He had a mini stroke, and has had hallucinations . He tried to leave Henry Ford in the middle of the night.  By the time, he returns home, he will have spent 30 days in the hospital and in rehab.  The hallucinations have been stopped.  He has significant short term memory loss, so we have a plan.  

We are committed to stay in our home.  We will have more help here for Dick, and we hope to have friends we have made over many years help to fill in.  Maybe you could drive him to a movie, could spend an hour or two talking over old times.  Dr. Gupta, his wonderful Henry Ford doctor, says someone should always be there.  We will see how it goes.  The plan to is also to look towards selling ou home in the next year to six months.,    Dick and I operate a day at a time.  If you can help, let me know.  If you can add a photo or joke, it will make us happy.  But always pray for us.

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