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Jan. 17, 1924 – June 7, 2013

Rita M. Knox, who operated several bars and restaurants with her husband, died Friday in Absolut Care of East Aurora, where she had been a resident for three years. She was 89.

Born in Buffalo, the former Rita Kopan grew up behind St. Mary of Sorrows Catholic Church and helped clean the church. Later, she was a production worker for 16 years at Harrison Radiator Corp. in Lockport.

She and her second husband, William T. Knox, operated Knox’s Paradise Grove in Lockport and three taverns in Buffalo, Billy Knox’s Bar on Genesee Street, the Gold Room on Exchange Street and Knox’s Bar and Grill, where Buffalo City Mission now stands.

She also catered retirement dinners and other events for the Buffalo Police Department.

A dog lover, she kept German shepherds.

Her first husband of 24 years, Everett Gurnett, died in 1964. She married Mr. Knox in the early 1980s. He died in 1998.

Survivors include a son, Dennis Gurnett.

Services will be private.