Richard Benjamin Knighton, 80, of Shelley, our beloved son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather, passed away at home on August 29, 2018, surrounded by his loving family.
Richard was born on October 17, 1937, in Bountiful, Utah, to William Norris Knighton and Ireta Brinkerhoff Knighton. He was the second born son of four: Robert (died in infancy), Jerrold William, and Dennis Karl.
Richard grew up in Bountiful and Centerville, Utah, graduating from Davis High School in May 1955. He served one year in the Utah National Guard as a police officer prior to enlisting in the United States Navy in September 1956.
Richard served active duty on the USS Lucid (MSO 458), USS Sculpin (SSN 590), USS Kennebec (during the Vietnam War) (AO 36), USS Pargo (SSN 650), and the USS Holland (AS 32). In 1957 he completed electricians mate (EM) “A” school in San Diego, California, and in 1961 EM “B” in Great Lakes, Illinois. Richard graduated from Basic Nuclear Power School in Valejo, California in 1962, 4th in his class from the United States Nuclear Power Training Unit at the Idaho National Laboratory in 1964, and 5th in his class from submarine school in New London, Connecticut in 1965. In 1968, he was one of a few to be selected as a naval instructor at the United States Nuclear Power Training Unit where he remained until 1975. During his active duty, he received a minimum of 7 military service medals. Richard retired with 20 years of naval service as a Lieutenant in November 1976.
While stationed in Long Beach, California, Richard met the love of his life, Helena Abelina (Abby) Romero. They were married on August 22, 1960, in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 1961, while stationed in Illinois, their first son was born, Richard Norris. Matthew Joseph expanded the family in 1966 and in 1969 Julie Ann completed the family. On August 22, 1964, Richard and Abby were sealed for all time and eternity in the Idaho Falls temple.
Upon retiring from the United States Navy, Richard and Abby made their home in Southeast Idaho first in Blackfoot, then Firth, and lastly in Shelley in 2006. Richard worked in construction and as a car salesman before starting work at the Idaho National Laboratory, Chemical Processing Plant (INTEC) in 1978. He retired from the Idaho National Laboratory in 1995.
Richard was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held several positions including high priest and served as a member of the Kimball ward bishopric.
Richard loved spending time with family, classic cars, reading, listening to classical music, and studying church history and genealogy. He was an enthralling story teller and enjoyed the outdoors whether camping or fishing. He deeply loved his family and never met a stranger. He will be remembered for his sparkling eyes, sense of humor, and quiet demeanor. He is a cherished father, grandfather, and great grandfather.
Richard is preceded in death by his parents, two brothers (Robert and Jerrold), and son, Richard.
Richard is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Abby, son Matthew of Idaho Falls, daughter Julie (Gary) Mitchell of Firth, brother Dennis (Vesta) of Cheyenne, Wyoming, grandchildren Ian (Veronica) Knighton of Idaho Falls, Courtney (Adam) Gailey of Meridian, Weston Mitchell of Williston, North Dakota, and Shayenne (Britton Moser) Mitchell of Preston. He has one great-grandchild, Emily.
The family would like to thank the doctors and staff of the Idaho Falls Kidney Center and the nurses and CNAs of Nuclear Care Partners and Hands of Hope Hospice for their tender loving care.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 5th, 2018, at the 5th Ward LDS Chapel (513 South Park Avenue, Shelley, Idaho). The family will receive family and friends Tuesday, September 4th, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Nalder Funeral Home (110 West Oak, Shelley, Idaho) and prior to the funeral service on Wednesday at the chapel from 9:30 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. Burial will be at the Firth Cemetery with full military rights and submarine veterans presentation.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Richard’s memory to the National Kidney Foundation, American Heart Association, or any veterans’ charity.
Dad/Grandpa, may you always have fair winds and following seas.