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Knox Pitts III, May 17, 2024


Knox Pitts III, of Nashville, formerly of Shelbyville, Bethesda, Maryland
and Boca Raton, Florida, died 05/17/2024 in Nashville in his sleep. He was born in
Shelbyville on February 26, 1946. the son of Rufus Knox Pitts Jr and Mildred Streeter
Steele Pitts of Shelbyville who predeceased him.
He was predeceased by his lifetime partner, Walter L. Higgins, who was born the same day and knew Knox his entire life.
Knox was a graduate of Shelbyville Central High, Vanderbilt BA History 1968, and
Columbia University Law School JD 1974. He was a member of the District of Columbia
Bar. Knox’s father was active in many campaigns and was Chairman of the Bedford County
Democratic Party for 20 years.
In Washington, Knox worked for the Democratic National Committee as Associate Director for the 1973-74 Campaign Committee. Knox also served in 1975 as Assistant to the Campaign Director, Scheduler and New York Coordinator for the Carter Presidential Campaign. In 1976 he served as Political Director for Jim Sasser’s winning campaign for the US Senate and worked in his Washington office in 1977.
He was active in many other campaigns, especially Jim Cooper's successful run for Congress in1982. Knox attended every Democratic National Convention from 1956 to 2016.
In 1978, Knox returned to Shelbyville to run the family business, Knox Pitts Hardware.
His father and mother had founded the business in 1946. Knox was joined by his brother,
John, and they ran the store until closing in 1998. Walter joined the store after
graduating from college in 1972. Like his parents and Walter, Knox was active in many
civic affairs. He was Chairman of the Board of Bedford County Heritage Association, and
on the Boards of the Argie Cooper Library, The Highland Rim Regional Library and the
Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce.
Knox and Walter moved to Bethesda, Maryland in 2000 and sold designer plumbing
and decorative hardware and retired in 2009 moving to Boca Raton, Florida.
Knox is survived by his brother John Steele Pitts (and his partner Joy Hunter) of
Nashville, nephews Jack Steele Pitts and wife Sydney Rhea Lilly Pitts of Oxford Mississippi
and Ted Spencer Pitts of Memphis Tennessee and Great nephews Quinten Steele Pitts
and Braxton Lynn Butler.
Graveside services will be 11 AM June 17, 2024, at Willow Mount Cemetery.
Knox would be honored with memorial gifts First Presbyterian Church, Shelbyville, or to a political cause of which Knox would approve.