SCARBOROUGH – Rev. James E. Knox, of Scarborough, died peacefully at St. Joseph Rehabilitation and Residence in Portland on February 23, 2016.
The beloved only child of William and Bertha (Pinette) Knox, he was born in Parkman, Maine, September 21, 1925, and was part of the large, extended Pinette family who lived nearby.
James’education began in a one-room schoolhouse in Parkman, and continued at Guilford High School, Boston College, and St. John’s Seminary. His service to the Church began early in his childhood as an altar boy for Rev. Boland at Holy Family Church in Sangerville. He was ordained into the Catholic priesthood at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland on April 11, 1951, and celebrated his first Mass at Holy Family Church.
During his 45 years of full-time parish ministry, Fr. Knox served as Parochial Vicar at Immaculate Conception Church, Calais, St. Joseph’s Church, Portland, and Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Portland. He was Founding Pastor at St. Gregory’s Church, Gray, and Pastor at St. Charles Borromeo Church, Brunswick, and at Holy Cross Church, South Portland. He also served as Chaplain at Father Carey Camp and as Director of Camp Gregory.
Following his retirement in 1996, he accepted temporary assignments at St. Mary’s Church in Westbrook and St. Philip’s Church in Lyman. For many years, he celebrated Mass regularly at several other churches, including St. Maximilian Kolbe Church in Scarborough, which hosted a 90th birthday celebration for him last year. In addition to his parish ministry, he had a long record of service in the Diocese, including Diocesan Liturgical Commission, Diocesan Board of Education, Vicar Forane of Sagadahoc/Lincoln Deanery and Southern Cumberland Deanery, Diocesan Personnel Board, Board of Trustees of the Clergy Benefit Plan, and Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus Cheverus Council #2344, South Portland. He also ministered to the Sisters of Mercy in Portland with weekly Masses and visits.
On the occasion of his 40th jubilee as a priest, Fr. Knox was recognized by Bishop Gerry as a priest whose “counsel is sought by parishioners, fellow priests and bishops alike because of your wisdom, experience and Christ-like treatment of others.”
While Fr. Knox devoted his life to the Church, he delighted in his extended family with regular visits, often accompanied by his dog and with a camera in hand. He had an excellent memory of family members and history, and was the source of family news for all. Known by his family as Fr. Jim, he rarely missed holiday gatherings and birthday parties, and he officiated at many family baptisms, weddings and funerals. Fr. Jim knew every soul in his large family and cared for them all. He will be greatly missed.
Fr. Knox is survived by first cousins: Ruth Mills of Yarmouth, Gloria Gallant of Portland, Thomas Wyman of Guilford, Maurice Wyman of Derby CT, Robert Wyman of Danbury CT, Katherine Spencer of Pittsfield, Lucille Chambers of Sangerville, Andrea Pinette of Dover-Foxcroft, Joseph Pinette of Abbott, and David Pinette of Houston, TX; their families; many other members of the extended Pinette family; friends in the religious community; and many parishioners.
The family wishes to thank dear friend Joel Anderson and the staff at St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation and Residence for their loving care of Fr. Jim in his final days.
Relatives and Friends are invited to attend a Reception of the Body and Liturgy of the Hours at 3PM on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 150 Black Point Road, Scarborough. Fr. Knox will lie in State at St. Maximillian Kolbe from 4-7PM on Wednesday. A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10AM on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at St. Maximilian Kolbe with The Most Rev. Robert P. Deeley, J.C.D., as principle celebrant. Rev. Stephen F. Concannon will be the homilist. Burial will be held at a later date at Lawn Cemetery, Guilford.
Arrangements are under the direction of Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State Street, Portland.
To view Fr. Knox’s memorial page or to share an online condolence, please visit