Father William Knott Dies in Arizona Sept. 26
October 4, 2018
PEORIA, Ariz.—Father William P. Knott, died Sept. 26 at Emma Assisted Living, in Peoria, Ariz., where he was a resident. He was 86. 
Father Knott was born on April 22, 1932, in Elgin, to Everett and Eleanor Mitchel Knott. 
Father Knott graduated from St. Edward Central Catholic High School 1950. After three years of college at St. Meinrad in Southern Indiana he prepared for the priesthood at the American College of the University of Louvain in Belgium where he was ordained in the American College Chapel by Bishop James A. McNulty, June 28, 1959. 
His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish, Freeport. He then was parochial vicar at St. James Parish, Rockford. 
In August 1965, Bishop Loras T. Lane invited Father Knott to attend the last session of the Second Vatican Council and assigned him to graduate studies at the Gregorian University in Rome. 
In 1966 he founded and became the first director of the Post Conciliar Center in Rockford. During his time as director, he was also pastor of St. Wendelin Parish, Shannon and taught adult religious education classes at the center and the St. Anthony College of Nursing. 
He also served as Newman chaplain for several years at Rock Valley College and was assistant professor in philosopy and religion at Rockford College. 
Father Knott also served as pastor of St. Mary Parish, Sterling, St. Joseph Parish, Lena, and St. Monica, Carpentersville. He also served as administrator of St. Thomas More Parish, Elgin. 
He served a term as president of the Priests’ Senate and as chaplain of the Catholic Women’s League.
Father Knott retired from active ministry in July, 1990 and later moved to Arizona where he was a regular celebrant at five Sun City West parishes, taught classes on the history of the Church as well as serving as chaplain at the Perryville Women’s Prison where he heard confessions every Friday evening for 17 years. Being multi-lingual, Father Knott celebrated Mass in Spanish for many years at Santa Teresita Parish. His final days of ministry were spent at St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Wickenburg, Ariz., before completely retiring in 2016.
Father Knott is survived by his brother Dave (Rosemary) Knott; sister-in-law Pat Moylan; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and brother priests. 
He was predeceased by his parents and brothers, John and Larry. 
A funeral Mass will be said Oct. 11 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, 9728 W. Palmeras Drive, Sun City, Ariz. Bishop Eduardo Nevares will officiate. Burial will be at a later date at St. Anthony of Padua Cemetery, Wickenburg, Ariz.  A memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date at St. Thomas More Parish in Elgin.