Ardis C. Knox, assistant chief of staff to California Lt. Gov. Leo T. McCarthy, has died at her home in Huntington Beach after a long battle with cancer. She was 52.
Active in Orange County Democratic politics, Mrs. Knox served as an assistant to former Rep. Jerry Patterson (D-Garden Grove) and as an administrative assistant to former Assemblyman Dennis Mangers (D-Huntington Beach) for 4 years before joining McCarthy’s staff.
“Ardis’ enthusiasm fired up everyone she worked with,” McCarthy said in a statement. “She was so positive, so gracious . . . she lifted up the rest of us.”
Before working for McCarthy, Mrs. Knox co-owned and operated the Passport to Travel agency in Huntington Beach.
She was also chairwoman of the Orange County Juvenile Justice Commission in 1980 and 1981.
“Ardis Knox is regarded as the primary architect for the (commission) as it exists today,” said Bruce Mulloy, administrative officer of the Juvenile Justice Commission. “She was a tireless worker and consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to the youth of our community through her leadership.”
Mrs. Knox also served on the county’s child abuse council -and the criminal justice system advisory group. During the 1970s, Mrs. Knox worked for the Children’s Home Society of Orange County and served one term as president of its auxiliary.
A lifelong Californian, Mrs. Knox graduated from Hamilton High School in West Los Angeles and Santa Monica Community College.
Mrs. Knox died Monday. Services were held at Pacific View Memorial Park in Newport Beach on Thursday.
Mrs. Knox is survived by her husband, Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert A. Knox; a daughter, Kim Scott of San Diego; a son, Greg Brown of Seal Beach; four stepsons, and three grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, family members request that any donations be forwarded to the UC Irvine Cancer Center.