C. Rudolph Knight(Tarboro) - C. Rudolph Knight, age 67, died November 29, 2013. He was born May 2, 1947, in Tarboro, North Carolina, the son of the late Christopher C. and Jetta Howard Knight. After graduating with honors from the W. A. Pattillo High School in 1965, Rudolph attended North Carolina Central University where he earned a BS degree in Business Administration in 1969.
Following graduation from North Carolina Central University, he accepted a position with Edgecombe Community College where he was the school’s first professional-level African American employee. He had been Director of Continuing Education for 21 years when he retired in 1997. During these years he continued his education, earning Master of Science degrees in Educational Administration, Library Science, and Adult Education from East Carolina University.
After working briefly for the Weldon City Schools, Rudolph enjoyed being the Historic Preservation Planner for the City of Rocky Mount, a position he enjoyed for nine years before his “final” retirement in 2011.
Family and friends knew Rudolph to be kind, caring, loving, sensitive, and generous. Always quick to react to any perceived wrong or injustice, he returned respect for respect.
From 2003-2013 he wrote a column on local African American history for The Daily Southerner. Other publications, co-authored with Lawrence Auld, include three books, the most recent of which is African American Heritage Guide: Tarboro, Rocky Mount, Edgecombe County, published in November 2013.
Over the years, Rudolph was active in various civic and community affairs. Current appointments included W. A. Pattillo High School National Alumni Association Board of Directors, Historic Hope Plantation Board of Directors, the Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies Advisory Board, and the Wright’s Center Board of Directors. He was a founding member and president of the Phoenix Society for African American Research (not to be confused with the Phoenix Historical Society, a different organization).
In 2008 Rudolph, together with Dr. Florence Armstrong and Dr. Lawrence Auld, formed the Perry-Weston Historical, Cultural, and Educational Institute, dedicated to promoting African American history, genealogy, culture, and arts, particularly in Edgecombe County and North Carolina. In 2004 Rudolph introduced Nonagenarian Teas to the community in which selected Tarboro natives who had reached or passed the age of 90 are honored.
Rudolph, a member in good standing of St. Augustine’s University Chapel (Episcopal Church, Diocese of North Carolina), is survived by his partner, Lawrence Auld; sister, Jetta Louise Knight (Tarboro); special cousins Carolyn Howard Parker, Stevenson Howard (Lynette), Vivian Wilkins Haynes, and Lovie Knight Thomas, all of Tarboro; Goddaughters Monica Miller (Boston, MA) and Tewonna Hinton (Rocky Mount); Godson Michael Blake (Raleigh); paternal aunts Bertha Knight Majette (Greensboro), Juanita Knight Giles (Greensboro), and Ora Dale Knight (Baltimore); maternal aunts Margaret Wilkins Pippen (Tarboro), Olivia Wilkins Martin (Chesapeake, VA), and Eleanor Wilkins (Largo, MD); and his partner’s children Warren Auld (Jefferson City, MO) and Vivian Auld (Kensington, MD). Rudolph is also remembered fondly by an extended family of many cousins and their families and by many friends in eastern North Carolina and throughout the country.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to the C. Rudolph Knight Scholarship Fund (Edgecombe Community College, 2009 W. Wilson St., Tarboro, NC 27886) are encouraged.
Services are entrusted to Hemby Willoughby Mortuary Inc. of Tarboro, North Carolina. A memorial service will be held Wednesday, December 4, 2013, at 2:00 p.m., at the Hemby Willoughby Funeral Home Chapel (266 NC 33 East, outside Princeville, NC).