Cover photo for Abelina "Abby" Knighton's Obituary
Abelina "Abby" Knighton Profile Photo
1940 Abelina 2021

Abelina "Abby" Knighton

December 8, 1940 — November 19, 2021

Helena Abelina “Abby” Romero Knighton, 80, of Shelley, departed this earthly world and received her heavenly wings on November 19, 2021.

Abby was born on December 8, 1940, in Nambe, New Mexico, to Jose Petronilo and Jaunita Sena Romero. She spent her childhood in Nambe with her siblings and large extended family of cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews. The family moved to San Pedro, California, in 1951 where she graduated from San Pedro High School in 1959.

Shortly after graduation, in Long Beach, California, Abby met a young and handsome sailor at a United Service Organization (USO) event, Richard Benjamin Knighton. It was love at first sight. Shortly after meeting, Richard was deployed overseas though remained in contact with Abby. One year to the day after they met, Abby and Richard were married on August 22, 1960. Four years later on August 22, 1964, Abby and Richard were sealed for all time and eternity in the Idaho Falls Latter-Day Saints (LDS) temple. They remained in that ‘love at first sight’ stage for all of their 58 years of marriage.

Abby was a devoted and efficient military wife for 20 years. She quickly went from being a young, inexperienced military wife to a seasoned military wife. She could proficiently pack a household at a moment’s notice, manage a family and household alone for extended periods, and thoroughly educated herself on the traditions of military life on naval bases. She became the go-to, seasoned military wife by countless new, inexperienced military wives. She would take them under her wings as their mentor, teacher, friend, and, in many cases, their motherly figure.

Abby was a doting, loving, and caring mother of three: Richard Norris, Matthew Joseph, and Julie Ann and a cherished grandmother of four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

Abby was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints holding many positions. The position with her fondest memories was the Spanish-speaking mission in the Idaho Falls Temple.

Upon Richard’s United Stated Navy retirement, Abby and Richard settled in Southeast Idaho (Blackfoot, Firth, and Shelley). In 1975, shortly after moving to Firth, Abby accepted a temporary student aide position within the Firth School District. Her position quickly developed into a devoted career as the Migrant Education Coordinator for the Firth and Shelley School Districts. She was a natural born teacher providing much love, nurture, and care to every child. She touched and inspired hundreds of migrant students and families. She retired in 1996 but remained in touch with most migrant students and families for the remainder of her life.

Abby loved spending time with her grandchildren, visiting with family and friends, sewing and quilting, and studying family genealogy. Those who were blessed to receive one of her handmade quilts cherish them. Every stitch was made with love. She enjoyed serving others in multiple capacities such as a teacher, role model, and supporter. Her door was always open. Abby loved unconditionally, had the most gentle soul, and was a natural nurturer to all.

There was a joyful reunion in heaven with her husband, Richard, her son, Rick, her parents, and siblings Virginia, Luciana (Lucy), and Ramona (Lydia).

Abby is survived by son Matthew; daughter Julie (Gary) Mitchell; grandchildren Ian (Veronica) Knighton, Courtney (Adam) Gailey, Weston (Tamara Hoover) Mitchell, Shayenne (Britton) Moser; great-granddaughter Emily; siblings Adella, Carolina (Carrie), Severo (Joey), and Cynthia; her fur-baby companion of 8 years Bear; many cousins, nieces, nephews, and life-long friends.

The family would like to thank the staff of Fairwinds (at Sand Creek) Senior Living Community and Hands of Hope Hospice for their tender loving care.

Abby’s final wishes are for private family services. This is a true testament of her character. The health and safety of those close and dear to her heart, whether living near or far, before herself.

In lieu of flowers and in Abby’s memory, the family suggests donations to a child charity or any veterans’ charity.

Se fue de nosotros físicamente pero con nosotros espiritualmente para siempre. Te amamos por siempre y para siempre. (Gone from us physically but with us spiritually forever. We love you forever and always.


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