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Sylvester “Sunny” Barnstead McKnight was born on November 9, 1952, in Colleton County, South Carolina as the youngest of four children to the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert and Alice Margie Williams McKnight. He departed this life on Tuesday, January 17, 2023. He received his formal education in the Colleton County School District Walterboro, SC and graduated in the Class of 1970, with a brief attendance at Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC.
At an early age, Sunny, Sly, or Uncle Sunny as he was affectionately known, joined Wesley United Methodist Church where he participated in numerous youth-related ministries: Sunday School, Methodist Youth Fellowship, Youth Calendar events, i.e., Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. He also provided labor for his father on McKnight’s Woodyard during his teen years.
He joined the United States Army from November 1, 1973, to December 18, 1975 and was honorably discharged in Fort Hood, Texas. Sylvester persevered throughout his life, in spite of health challenges. He always maintained a quiet and pleasant demeanor. Reading was one of his main interests and also conquering word puzzles. Bicycling was also another activity that he enjoyed prior to taking up residence at the Veteran’s Victory House. While there, he could often be heard playing melodious tunes on his harmonica.
As a result of his love of reading, the local newspaper was well-read. At one time, he shared with his sister that she was in the newspaper unbeknownst to her. Sylvester also could be known as the “Boots Guy”. He never saw a pair of cowboy boots he didn’t like. He was known by his family as a “gentle giant”, and his calm demeanor always gave place to his being soft spoken with a warm smile.
Sylvester really took advantage of a number of available resources at Veterans Victory House: Worship services, recurring field trip experiences, and activity room events were enriching to him. In conclusion, Veterans Victory House was a safe-haven with diverse programming tailored to his interests.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his beloved sisters and brother; Louise Rand-Brown of Durham NC; Vera McKnight Bodison of Walterboro, SC; Robert McKnight, Jr. of Walterboro, SC; brother-in-law Bernard C. Bodison, Sr. who preceded him in death; sister-in-law Violet Kinard McKnight who preceded him in death; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and loving friends.
The Celebration of Life Services for Mr. Sylvester Barnstead McKnight, are as follows:
Monday (January 23, 2023)
Public Viewing-3:00PM-6:00PM Hamilton’s Funeral Home (218 Pearson Street, Walterboro, SC)
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
2:00PM- Celebration of Life Service at Faith Church (858 Bells Highway,
Walterboro, SC 29488)
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
12:00PM- Interment Services at the Beaufort National Cemetery,
(1601 Boundary Street, Beaufort, SC 29906)
We truly appreciate your fervent prayers.
Questions? Please contact Hamilton's at
The McKnight Family
ATTENTION: Due to the COVID- 19 virus pandemic and in the effort to help stop the spread of the Virus. Walk through viewing only and please remember that face masks must be worn at all times as you enter funeral home and service. We will only allow a certain number of individuals inside the funeral home at one time. Please, remember to keep your distance as much as possible, and wash and sanitize your hands. Thank you for your cooperation and with helping us to do our part in stopping the spread of the Virus.
Please leave the Family a note of Condolence, light a candle of remembrance, or order a floral remembrance piece. 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 to Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whether I go ye know, and the way ye know. John 14:1-4