February 27, 2003

(8/8/1915 - 2/15/2003)

Lester Wilson McKnight, 87, passed away February 15, 2003, in Seattle, WA.

He was the son of Samuel Wilson and Bertha March McKnight, born August 8, 1915, in Memphis, MO.

He grew up in Memphis being one of four students that attended all 12 years at south Memphis Public School, graduating in 1933. Soon after graduation he enrolled in CCC and was stationed in Paragould, AR, Kahoka, MO, and the state of Oregon. While working in North Dakota, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy on December 6, 1937 and was stationed on the U.S.S. West Virginia, which was docked at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Lester was a survivor and was transferred to the U.S.S. Enterprise, which went on to the battles of Midway and Guadacanal. Then he was transferred back to help recover the U.S.S. West Virginia. Due to an explosion, he was badly burned and spent months in a hospital in Hawaii. After his discharge from the Navy as 1st Class C.P.O., he began working on Pier 91 in Seattle and was there until his retirement.

On January 30, 1953, he married Alma Hogwine. He was an avid and professional gardener so their home was always a mass of beautiful flowers. After moving into a retirement complex in 1990, he kept flowers all around growing as long as his health permitted.

He was a loyal, honest, devoted to our country person and will be missed by those who knew him. He was very proud of his great-nephew, his namesake.

Interment was on February 18, 2003, in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Seattle, WA.

He leaves his devoted wife, Alma, to whom he had been married 50 years on January 30, 2003, and his sister, Mary Guy, and nieces and nephews.

Memorials in Lester's honor may be made to the Scotland County Care Center in Memphis, where a second cousin, Juanita McKnight, makes her home.

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