Phelma Knight — A Role Model for All
Famous, powerful people may be idolized but it is the ordinary, hardworking people who influence us the most. These people have the gift of accomplishing extraordinary tasks with little or no acknowledgement.
Phelma Knight is one of those people. Growing up on a farm in Rooks County, Knight learned at an early age the importance of being involved. Born in 1915 to William and Lillian Diehl, this Rooks County native has naturally and intuitively shared her inner values. She worked for the ASCS office in Rooks County for 27 years and at the Plainville State Bank for 12 years.
Knight immerses herself in the community, devoting her time and energy to organizations and events that work to improve the community. The United Methodist church, the Cancer Society, Relay for Life, blood mobile, community food pantry, United Methodist thrift shop and ESA Sorority are just some her philanthropies.
As one of the original supporters of a hospital in Rooks County, Knight went door-to-door gathering signatures in support of adding other communities to the hospital district in 1988. To this day, she remains a strong supporter of Rooks County’s hospital, serving as co-chairman of the Rooks County Health Center capital campaign and being active in all hospital and auxiliary.
The hospital has always been an important cause in Knight’s life. Her mother was a patient at Rooks County Health Center for 16 years. Mrs. Diehl privately paid to make her home in the hospital, which would be impossible today due to cost and the service required.
With her strong will and spirit, Knight overcame cancer and other health problems. She opted not to succumb to fear and hopelessness. People like Knight throw themselves into bettering their communities and others, not for fame or fortune but because it’s something they truly want to achieve.