Mike McKnight: popular plant manager dies in car accident

Progress Staff Writer

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
— John 14: 1-4, 6

The news of the death of a well known plant manager in Pontotoc sent his friends and co-workers reeling from the impact.
Mike “Drac” McKnight, manager of Genesis Furniture’s New Wave plant on Highway 6, was killed in an automobile accident last Wednesday in Union County.
Remembered as someone who stood by his word and work, his best friend and his co-worker spent a few moments talking about their friend.
His friend of 20 years, Bobby Collums, said he was close to Mike because of all the time they spent together working.
“We worked at Brookwood for 10 years together,” said Collums.
Mike and Collums were currently working at Genesis together.
“Everybody loved him, he knew how to make people laugh. When I was sad, he knew how to squeeze a laugh out of me.”
Collums said Mike was there beside him when “I had another close friend that died.”
He stayed in touch with his friend “even when we didn’t work at the same job.”
When Mike came to work at Genesis, “I recommended him for the management job because he was so good in management.”
Collums struggled to find words as his emotions surfaced.
“Ten years ago my mom died, out of all the friends I had telling me they were sorry, he was the only one who came to her funeral.”

Ward remembers
“He was a straightforward type of person,” said Wayne Ward, who manages the Genesis plant on Highway 15. “He was a people person and was admired by his friends. He always tried to help people.”
Ward also said that if Mike committed to doing something “that’s what he did.”
Ward had the opportunity to work with Mike for several years and they forged a friendship that went deeper than kinfolk blood.
“When he had a problem we cracked open the Bible together. His favorite verses were John 14:1-4. That was our scripture.
“In fact, the last thing he read the day he died was all of chapter 14. Twice.”
Ward said he would truly miss Mike. “I’ll miss his friendship.”
A friends last words
Collums said Mike called his mama the afternoon before he had his wreck.
“He told her he couldn’t see her that evening and he was going to move back in with her and he loved her very much.
“Two hours later I got the worst news of my life.”
However, Collums said he would choose to remember all the good times he’s had with his friend, Mike.
“He always left a smile on a person’s face. Even strangers.”

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