E. Danforth (Dan) Knight, Jr. (died October 4, 2023, in Johnson City NY, the day following his 99th birthday).
I have been one of the luckiest men in the world. Born in 1924, I had two great parents, Edward and Claire Clark Knight that raised me to love my family, God, country and to treat everyone with respect. I grew up in Bainbridge, NY, a small village surrounded by family, where I attended an excellent small school. There I was able to participate in all sports and received an education that prepared me for life. Following graduation in 1942 I then attended the Manlius School, Manlius, NY for a year. I survived three years in WWII, an Army S/Sgt. serving in combat in Europe and ending that war in Salzburg, Austria. Then came the Philippians to prepare for invasion of Japan. I eventually spent four months there on occupation duty.
In December 1946 Jean Bacon, my childhood sweetheart and I were married. We had one daughter Deborah Jane (Debby). After 32 years of marriage, Jean died in September, 1978, a victim of cancer. Thanks to Debby, Bessie (Bette) Daubert Dunne, a widowed teacher and I became friends, fell in love, and in October, 1979 were married. She had two daughters, Lorie and Jamie, and I then had the three children that I had always wanted. Over time our family grew; Debby and Walter Lenk, Lorie and Mark Hempton and their daughter Cambria and son-in-law Ross Brockman (and their children Warren and Shep), and Jamie and Mark Murphy and their daughter Hannah. Thanks to both of my wives I have several nieces and nephews and their families.
In 1946 I was accepted at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY as a pre-law student. I could not start there until the second semester of 1947 due to the backlog of returning service men, and when I did the math, I would have been 30 years old before I finished law school. I decided to forgo college and worked for the Bendix Scintilla Division in Sidney, NY for 22 years in the engineering department designing aircraft ignition systems, aerospace components, and various energy storage devices. In 1968 I joined Custom Electronics in Oneonta, NY, primarily an energy storage manufacturer in the aerospace-defense industry, where I was responsible for engineering, R&D and manufacturing. I remained there until my retirement in 1987.
I was truly blessed with two wonderful wives and firmly believe that Bette is responsible for my relatively long life. I have a family that I have always been very proud of. I was able to serve my church, country and community in several ways over the years, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed just about every day of the 42 years that I worked. Following retirement Bette and I traveled throughout the states and Canada, and made several trips to Europe. I enjoyed gardening, camping, hiking and cross-country skiing with our Golden Retrievers Molly and Strider and played a lot of bridge and golf. We lived in Bainbridge until 2005 when we moved to the Highlands in Johnson City, NY. We also had a home in Venice, FL where we spent five or six months in the winter, walking the beach, playing golf and enjoying many friends.
What more could anyone ask for?
A Celebration of Life will be held Thursday, Oct 26 at 10:30am at United Methodist Communities Hilltop Campus, 286 Deyo Hill Road, Johnson City NY. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, The United Methodist Homes 286 Deyo Hill Rd. Johnson City, NY, or a charity of one's choice.