David Knighton, 83, a resident of Frost Drive, Bennington, passed away at his home Thursday, April 26, following a long illness.
He was born in Brooklyn, New York March 12, 1935, son of Henry and Olive Walker Knighton. The family moved to Melrose, Massachusetts when he was four. His father was a professional violinist for many years and Dave inherited his father’s musical aptitude and temperament, starting to play the clarinet in the third grade. This led him to getting a band scholarship to Valley Forge Military Academy for the high school years, and then obtaining a position in the Army Field Band in Washington, D.C., where for seven years he traveled with the band to most of the states, the Far East and 11 countries of Europe. When a rare vacancy in the clarinet section of the U.S. Marine Band (“The President’s Own”) arose he auditioned and joined the other 22 clarinetists in that prestigious band, playing for many Presidential inaugurations and state occasions. He retired at 50 as MGySgt, the top enlisted rank.
Dave had a “bucket list” of things he wanted to do in life, some done before retirement, such as running several sub-three hour marathons, building a cabin in the woods of Pennsylvania, writing a book of poetry (unpublished), driving the Alcan Highway to Alaska, spending a summer hiking and climbing several 14,000 ft. mountain peaks in Colorado, and becoming an avid gardener, planting over 60 varieties of perennials in several gardens around Second Congregational Church and his home.
He was a member of Second Congregational Church and sang in the choir for many years.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Charlotte Vorhis Knighton, a son, Steve and wife, Dorothy, of Lanham, MD, a daughter, Lorrie and husband, Jeff Caradonna of New Port Richey, FL and two granddaughters, Nicole and Rachel, both students at University of Central Florida in Orlando. His sister, Ruth Miller, lives in Bowie, MD. David was predeceased by a brother, Paul.
A memorial service will take place at Second Congregational Church on Saturday, May 5th at 11:00 a.m. with burial the following day in the family plot at Chelsea West Hill Cemetery, Chelsea, VT where his mother was raised.
Memorial contributions in David Knighton’s memory to VNA and Hospice of the Southwest Region may be sent through the office of Mahar and Son Funeral Home, 628 Main Street, Bennington, VT 05201.
Guestbook condolences may be made through the funeral home website at www.maharandsonfuneralhome.net