Norman Robert Knight, Jr., a member of “the greatest generation” and a resident of Bishop Gadsden, gently entered into eternal rest on March 11, 2008. He was born on Good Friday, March 25, 1924, in Zelienople, Pennsylvania, to Norman Robert Knight and Jean Wallace Knight.
Mr. Knight was a graduate of Porter Military Academy and The Citadel where he earned a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering. He was a decorated Navy veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict, having served on the U.S.S. Hornet, U.S.S. Corry, and the U.S.S. Haynsworth in the South Pacific Theatre. Mr. Knight retired from the U.S. Civil Service as the Sr. Naval Architect for the Charleston Naval Shipyard having designed nuclear ships and submarines for most of his career. After his retirement, he consulted for a variety of U.S. government contractors. Mr. Knight also retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve.
Mr. Knight did not “spend” his life, but rather “invested” it as exemplified in his love and service to his family, his country, and his community. He was a Past Master and Life Member of Hammerton Lodge #332, member of the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, South Carolina Council No. 20 Knight Masons, and the Omar Shrine Temple. Mr. Knight was also a Past President of the Exchange Club of North Charleston, as was his late father. A life-long Republican, he also ran as a candidate for the S.C. State House of Representatives. Mr. Knight was a member of Park Circle Presbyterian Church where his late mother was a charter member. He was a Life Member of The Association of Citadel Men and a Boy Scout Troop Leader for Troop #462, sponsored by Cherokee United Methodist Church, for many years. Mr. Knight was extremely well read and was gifted with a keen intellect. He was a well-rounded individual who traveled to most parts of the world. In addition to his love of ships, his other interests included motorcycles, convertibles, and airplanes. He was an avid philatelist and gardener, and a certified scuba diver and pilot.
A lineal, blood descendant of eight Confederate veteran ancestors, Mr. Knight was awarded two Crosses of Military Service by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Alfred Holt Colquitt Chapter, in Atlanta, Georgia. The most prized awards conferred by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and an outgrowth of the Southern Cross of Honor awarded to Confederate Veterans, he received the UDC Crosses of Military Service for his patriotic service to the United States during World War II and the Korean Conflict. Mr. Knight was also a lineal, blood descendant of three ancestors who fought in the American Revolution.
His parents, his sister, Sally Knight Faulkner, and his brother, Daniel Wallace Knight, preceded him in death. Mr. Knight is survived by his wife, Mildred C. Knight, and three children, Linda Knight Jones of Charleston, Norman Robert “Bobby” Knight, III, of North Charleston, and Chloe Knight Tonney of Tucker, Georgia. Additionally, he leaves behind two grandchildren, Angela Jones Johnson of Daniel Island and John Paul “J.P” Jones, Jr., of Charleston as well as a great-granddaughter, Isabelle Carolyn Johnson of Daniel Island, to whom Mr. Knight referred as “the cutest baby in Charleston County.” Mr. Norman Riley of Harleyville, S.C., was Mr. Knight’s favorite cousin and was also named after Mr. Knight’s father. Two nieces, Gini King Dillion and Marcia Faulkner Spivey, both of Summerville, also survive him. Mr. Knight was laid to rest on March 29, 2008, at Carolina Memorial Gardens.
The sacred Easter season with its resurrection message greeted Mr. Knight on Good Friday in 1924 and assured him a triumphant entrance to heaven in 2008. Mr. Knight numbered his days unto a heart of wisdom. Loyal, generous, and humble to his core, he was a truly authentic individual who possessed a tremendous sense of humor. Theologian C.S. Lewis said that joy is the flag that flies when the King is in residence. Mr. Knight’s brilliant smile was a constant reminder that his King was Jesus. Norman Knight indeed “finished well” by defining his values, disciplining his mind, understanding his life’s purpose, and serving others unconditionally.
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