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William Howlett Knight


1923 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
William Howlett Knight Obituary
William Howlett Knight
Feb 1, 1923 - Jul 25, 2014
Resident of Walnut Creek
William Howlett "Bill" Knight passed away on Friday, July 25, 2014 at the age of 91. He will be remembered for his many years of service as Superintendent of several school districts in the East Bay, his love of history, travel, jazz and most of all, his family.
Bill was born in Pontiac, Michigan in 1923. His father, Charles S. Knight, a Baptist minister, brought the family to San Jose, California in 1925. Bill grew up in San Jose, graduating from Los Gatos High School in 1941. He studied at San Jose State until he was drafted into the Army Air Corps during WWII. After returning to San Jose State to obtain his teaching credential, Bill began his career in Sonoma, California where he met his wife Jackie Dowdall. They had two children, John and Elizabeth, and eventually moved to Lafayette in 1960, where over the next 23 years Bill was principal at Vallecito School, Superintendent of the Moraga School District, Asst. Superintendent of the Acalanes Union High School District, and Superintendent of the Piedmont Unified School District. Shortly after his retirement, he lost his first wife but soon met June Nixon, whom he married in 1981. After a two-year interim Superintendent position at the Orinda Union School District, Bill and June moved to Lake Wildwood in Penn Valley. For the next 22 years, Bill enjoyed extensive world travel with June, attended jazz festivals, played golf and served on the Nevada County Historical Commission. He also spent many hours volunteering for educational and cultural programs in Grass Valley. In 2011, Bill and June returned to Walnut Creek to be closer to his children.
Bill is survived by his loving wife June, his son John Knight, M.D. (Rachel) of Danville, Elizabeth O'Kane (John) of Fairfield, stepson Tim Nixon of Colorado Springs, Colorado, grandchildren Jeff Knight (Nicolle), Kelly Knight, Megan O'Kane and Lindsay O'Kane. He also leaves behind two great-grandchildren, Evangeline and Jackson Knight. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
At Bill's request, there will be no funeral services.

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Published in Contra Costa Times on Aug. 3, 2014
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