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February 14, 2022
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JAMES A KNOX
Montrose, Colorado – James A. Knox, age 88, passed peacefully at home in Montrose in the company of his wife of forty-two years, Cheryl, on Monday, February 14, 2022, after a period of failing health. Born in Waynesburg, in rural western Pennsylvania, he was the eldest of the four sons of John & Sara Knox, James, Pat, John and Charles who were raised in Oceanside, NY. As a youth he excelled at sports including football and track, adored jazz and Ella Fitzgerald in particular, and developed an abiding passion for the outdoors, including fly fishing for trout wherever he traveled in life.
A graduate of both Dartmouth College (BS) and the University of Minnesota (MBA), Jim was an honors student in the field of geology. Due to his knowledge of certain ores, including uranium, while still a student he was invited to work summers for the United States Geologic Survey in Colorado, where he met older, experienced geologists who mentored him and became lifelong friends.
As an exploration geologist, Jim was highly respected for his ability to map and analyze complex geologic formations by collecting and studying rock samples to assess their potential for valuable ore deposits. His conclusions led to a significant number of silver, gold, copper and uranium ore body discoveries, including the DeLamar silver-gold in southwestern Idaho, and the Trinity silver-gold mine in western Nevada. His analytical skills were extremely valuable to the various companies for which he worked including Kennecott Exploration in Maine and Quebec, and then Kermac Nuclear Fuels Corporation in New Mexico.
Jim also possessed a keen ability on the business and legal sides of geology as well. He and his good friend and fellow Dartmouth geologist graduate, Morris A. Kaufman, founded Knox-Kaufman, Inc., a successful exploration geologist consulting firm based in Spokane, WA. And then, years later, Jim became the president and CEO of the Denver-based minerals exploration company, USMX. Yet, in spite of all his professional accomplishments, Jim always thought of himself as “just a prospector.” Given his inexhaustible curiosity for another “discovery”, and his love of roaming the mountains of the western US, his self-description as a simple prospector seems quite humble, yet apt.
Jim was also a devoted family man who is survived by his children: James A. Knox II, Brunswick, Maine; Gemma Knox, East Norriton, Pennsylvania; Craig Knox, Casper, Wyoming; Cleigh Knox Sandon, Henderson, Nevada; Step-children Shirley Todd, Thomas Knox and Heidi Weston all of Spokane, Washington; 13 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents and brother, Pat.
We trust he is in good company. Rest in peace you old prospector.
Rest in peace.