David Leroy Knight, a resident of Dothan, AL, went to be with his Heavenly Father Wednesday afternoon, June 6, 2012. He was 89.
Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, June 9, 2012, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with Bishop Rod Cain officiating. Burial will follow at Memory Hill Cemetery with Byrd Funeral Home on West Main Street directing. Visitation will be held at the church from 2:00 p.m. Saturday until service time.
David left Dothan at the age of 15 to go to Utah where he worked for the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) for two years. When WWII broke out, he immediately joined the Army. He served in the Pacific Theater of Operations with the 11th Airborne Division, a parachute infantry regiment, nicknamed the "Angels." The 11th Airborne Division participated in the "Liberation of Manila and the raid on the Los Banos internment camp, liberating two thousand civilians in the Philippines. His division also aided in battling to subdue the remaining Japanese resistance on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. On August 30, 1945, David's division was the first regiment to enter Japan following the surrender. He shared many heroic stories regarding his service as a paratrooper, but he was especially proud of liberating the POW camps in Japan.
Following his military service, David was employed with the FAA as an air traffic controller. He later transferred to Tuscaloosa, AL where he attended the University of Alabama while continuing to work for the FAA. Both of his children were born in Tuscaloosa while he continued going to school and working for the FAA. His family enjoyed several transfers to New Orleans, LA, Montgomery, AL and for ten years in the Panama Canal Zone. He retired from the FAA in 1977.
David earned his pilot's license and enjoyed flying in the Canal Zone as well as after his retirement in Dothan. He also enjoyed boating, fishing, traveling, gardening and raising his Macaw, which lived for more than 40 years. He especially loved spending time with his five grandchildren. He was a High Priest with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and also served as the church Clerk to the Bishop for many years.
He is preceded in death by his father, Joseph Knight; his mother, Lillie Archer-Knight; stepmothers, Francis LaNora Archer and Ellen Mae Cordle; and his brothers, Joseph, Charles, and Noel Knight.
David is survived by his wife of 64 years, Miriam Cutchen Knight of Dothan; a son, Glenn David Knight(Carolyn) of Dothan; a daughter, Jorli Knight-Wales of Baton Rouge, LA; a sister, Francis LaNora Vann of Dothan; and a brother, William Lloyd Knight, of Boyton Beach, FL. His grandchildren include Adam Wales, Megan Wales, Joshua Knight (Casey), Marci Knight, and Lindi Knight; and five great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the caregivers for the love and service given to Mr. Knight.