Mrs BMW Knights, Redruth
THE FUNERAL service has taken place at Treswithian Downs Crematorium, Camborne, for Mrs Barbara Molly Willoughby Knights, of Redruth who died at Chypons Residential Home, Newlyn.
Mrs Knights was 96 and had until recently been a resident at Willowfields, Penzance.
The service was conducted by the Reverend Harry Burlton.
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Mrs Knights was born Barbara Molly Willoughby Hammill at Kolar Gold Fields in what was then the independent princely state of Mysore in southern India.
Her father, originally from Camborne, had been a mine manager with extensive overseas mining experience in Sudan, South Africa and India. However, the family returned to Cornwall in 1921 owing to his ill-health and he then took up farming at Roskrow, near Penryn.
Barbara married Mr Leonard (Len) Knights in Penryn in 1937. Len and Barbara had three children to whom she was devoted. The eldest, their daughter Jennifer, died of breast cancer in 1988, but her two sons Roger and John survive her, one living overseas and the other at Connor Downs.
She also has six grandchildren Julie, Michael, Robert, Philip, Taona and Gemma, all of whom she loved dearly and took great pride in.
Mr Knights was one of four brothers who between them ran the well-known chain of Cornish department stores, John Knights & Sons. He and Barbara ran the highly successful Redruth store in Fore Street and for many years she was the principal buyer of women's fashions and other product ranges. She rapidly acquired a reputation for being an extremely astute businesswoman with a well-developed understanding of consumer behaviour, her customers' needs, affordability and the importance of sensitive pricing.
On retiring from business, Barbara lived first in Lelant and then in Penzance, latterly at Willowfields. She was very well known in Penzance and indeed in West Cornwall generally and had a large number of close friends. People of every age and background were drawn to her and her flat at Willowfield saw an endless succession of visitors.
Her intense interest in people and life combined with common sense and understanding, as well as her legendary sense of fun and good humour, endeared her to young and old alike.
Above all, nothing was more important or brought her more joy to her than her family.
She was a truly remarkable lady and we shall all miss her deeply.
Funeral arrangements were by Burroughs and Kearey Funeral Directors, Penzance.