Delbert (Joe) Knight, age 92, of Palmyra, MO died at 9:03pm on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at his home.
Joe was born January 31, 1926 in Henderson County, IL near Galesburg. He was the son of Oren and Dora Lauderback Knight. He married Leah Kurfman on November 24, 1964. She survives.
Joe attended school in Camp Point, IL. Just before his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the Navy, and served four years. He was on the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Monterey CVL-26, serving all through the South Pacific. The U.S.S. Monterey scoreboard read: 11 naval battles, 21ships sunk, 60 islands bombed, 300 shore targets, 500 Japanese planes destroyed on the ground. Former president Gerald Ford served on the same ship. Joe shard his Navy stories with grandchildren, in schools, and was featured in a newspaper article. He enjoyed the Honor Flight in 2012.
When he returned to Quincy, he was one of the first five employees of Motorola. He worked for Motorola for 38 years; 28 in Quincy, 5 in Seguin, TX, and 5 in Joplin, MO. He retired in 1986, moving back to Lewis County.
Joe was a member of Durham Baptist Church and a member of American Legion Post 578. He loved fishing, hunting, and was an avid Cardinal fan. He was watching a Cardinal game at the time of his death. Joe and Leah enjoyed wintering in Texas for 21 years.
Survivors include wife Leah Knight of Palmyra; four daughters, Brenda Crackel (Tom) of Goreville, IL, Cathy Sprague (Larry) of LaGrange, MO, Teryl Broeker (Kevin) of Ewing, MO, and Laura Tilley (Terry) of Bountiful, UT. Joe has sixteen grandchildren, Kim Goddard (Mark) of Carterville, IL, Kenneth Kleckner (Kathy) of Herrin, IL, Bradley Kleckner of Goreville, IL, Hayley Crackel of Belleville, IL, Larry Sprague of Sartell, MN, Landon Sprague (April) of Quincy, IL, Christopher Sprague (Betty) of Quincy, IL, Tandy Fischer (Troy) of Rockford, IL, Kendra Grimm (Joseph) of St. Peters, MO, Joshua Tilley (Aleesha) of Orofino, ID, Aaron Tilley (Kathrine) of Eagle, UT, Terry Tilley Jr. (Becky) of Bountiful, UT, Jessica Cooley (Daniel) of Fairfax, VA, Benjamin Tilley (Mindy) of Bountiful, UT, Jared Tilley (Marral) of West Valley City, UT, Jordan Tilley (Amelia) of Moscow, ID. He has 31 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Joe was also survived by sister, Wilma Sally; sisters-in-law, Ethel Knight, Doris Olson, Carolyn Roseberry, Sharon Kurfman, Connie Kurfman and Mary Kurfman; brother-in-law, Wendell Kurfman; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Owen and Lola Kurfman; brothers, Richard Knight and Jerry Knight; sister, Imogene Winfield; brothers-in-law, Bob Winfield, Dick Sally, Richard Kurfman, Roger Kurfman, Warren Kurfman, Bill Olson; and sister-in-law Bertha Kurfman.
Funeral services will be held Friday, August 17, 2018 at 10:00am at Durham Baptist Church, Durham, MO with Reverend John Moore, officiating. Buriel with military honors will be held in Dover Cemetery, Selves addition, near LaGrange, MO. Visitation will be held Thursday, August 16, 2018, from 4:00 until 8:00pm at Durham Baptist Church. The family suggests the memorials be made to Durham Baptist Church or Peterson Outdoors Ministries for Veterans.
Pallbearers will be grandsons.
Music will be provided by Marion Price, vocalist and Evelyn Scifres, organist.