Russell Knoth d’Islip, electronics engineer, volunteer firefighter, dies at 93
Among the myriad ways to live the dream, Russell A. “Rut” Knoth, 93, from Islip, has clearly found one, with an almost 50-year career as an electronics engineer, 65 years as an electronics engineer. as a volunteer firefighter – and as a father in a blended family with 10 children, none of whom have ever felt excluded.
“He was definitely a legend,” son-in-law Tim Connolly said over the phone, revealing that Knoth, an honorary chef, drove ambulances in the mid-1980s until he felt it was time to withdraw.
“And you know he’s always been really nice, knew everyone in town,” Connolly said.
This native of Islip “always used to say that this is the perfect place to live”.
Knoth, as the fire department said, responded to his last alarm on June 5, dying at home with his family by his side.
“He never lacked for anything the kids were involved in,” Connolly said. “He made them all feel special; no child was left behind; no one was sad or alone.”
Said Ronald Pfuhl, Chief of the Islip Fire District, who accompanied him on many ambulance trips: “The main thing that strikes me is his dedication to his family, the firefighters and the community in which He lived. ”
“He was just a dedicated person, he was very withdrawn and just did the job that needed to be done,” Pfuhl said. “You just asked him, and it was done, without discussion, no matter what time of day or night, he would respond.”
The Islip Fire Department has won several State Championships with Knoth on the team, demonstrating their skill and speed. Knoth, his son-in-law remembers, was only about five and a half feet tall, but played football and tracked at Islip High School, graduating in 1945.
He then joined the Navy, serving in Alaska, before continuing his engineering career by attending the RCA Institutes, the New York school founded in 1909 by Guglielmo Marconi, who is credited with developing wireless telegraphs. and the invention of radio.
Knoth’s expertise led to a 49-year career with Servo Corp. of America from Long Island, who sent him on various missions, including one working on Egyptian systems, Connolly said.
The company, according to its website, specialized in determining the attitude of satellites, monitoring land resources, infrared detectors and radio navigation systems for ports and airports.
Knoth and his first wife, Alice Feinman, had four children; after his death, he met Anne O’Neill, a recent widow, with five children, Connolly said. After “a decent interval,” the two had a first date, bringing their sons to a Long Island Ducks hockey game.
“They had a great time and they had a few extra dates, and the next thing you know, they got married with nine kids in total.” And then, four years after their marriage in 1972, Connolly said, “They had their 10th child.”
Knoth’s talents and abilities encompass both painting and cartography. The maps he drew for his children, long before the invention of GPS, were both highly detailed and precise. “If someone was going to visit someone or go to college, they would draw a map for their child, and it was very detailed, it was like a work of art, it was tenth of a mile, ”Connolly said. “I don’t think anyone got lost with a ‘Rut’ Knoth card.”
In his backyard, with a swimming pool, he welcomed many. “I would say more than anything else, his free time was spending time with his family,” Connolly said.
In addition to his widow, Knoth’s survivors include his children, Patti Hanes of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, Laura Fox of Bridgewater, Virginia, Donna Connolly of Worcester, Massachusetts, John O’Neill and Tricia Staneck, both of ‘Islip, Russ Knoth of East Islip, Mary Felman of Manhasset and Brian Knoth of Providence, Rhode Island; 21 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.