Bruce E. Knox

KnoxBruce E. Knox, 89, on November 2, 2020, following an extended illness, at Foxdale Village in State College, Pa. Bruce was born on August 4, 1931, in Binghamton, N.Y., to Roland J. Knox and Grace Sleeper Knox.

Bruce had a happy childhood. He was raised in the Presbyterian Church and was active in the Boy Scouts. Bruce was in the high school orchestra when he met his high school sweetheart, Susan Marshall. He graduated from Binghamton Central High School in 1949 and enrolled in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on a full Navy scholarship. After graduating from RPI in 1953 with a bachelor’s in chemistry, he and Sue married and began their family. Bruce was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in Japan and Okinawa as an artillery instructor and practitioner.

In 1956, the family moved to Syracuse, N.Y., where Bruce earned a master’s in chemistry. Bruce earned his doctorate (fuel technology) from Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pa. The remaining years of Bruce’s career were spent at Penn State’s Materials Research Laboratory. His passion was teaching. Bruce taught courses in material science, as well as humanities courses in the interdisciplinary science, technology, and society program. He demanded high performance from his students, insisting that they demonstrate the ability to “think.” Bruce retired in 1991 as an associate professor.

For years Bruce was an active member of State College Presbyterian Church, as well as a “house church” called the Sycamore Community. During the 1960s he met with members of other State College faith groups whose missions were to address unmet needs in the community and surrounding areas. This initiative resulted in two organizations that remain vital to the Centre Region—the Centre County Youth Service Bureau and Interfaith Human Services (formerly Ecumenical Mission in State College). Early in 2000, Bruce and Susan became members of State College Meeting. They were overjoyed to find the Quaker meeting and quickly felt it was their spiritual home.

In 2005, Bruce and Sue moved to Foxdale Village, a Quaker CCRC in State College. Bruce served on the Foxdale Village Board of Trustees, the Finance Committee, and as co-clerk of the Board of Trustees. His contact with Arthur Larrabee during a seminar on Quaker governance helped to increase Bruce’s leadership skills. Bruce served two terms on the Board of Trustees of State College Friends School, where he also volunteered as a tutor. Following his retirement from Penn State, for 12 years Bruce served as an emergency medical technician with what is now Centre LifeLink EMS. He and Susan enjoyed world travel, sailing, and scuba diving. Bruce loved spending time with his family and had a soft spot for dogs.

Bruce is survived by his wife, Susan Knox; three children, Mark A. Knox (Miriam Poorman), John M. Knox (Carol), and Kathleen K. Huey (Glenn); six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

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