Dr. Charles Daniel Knight, prominent Shreveport, La., surgeon, passed away at his home Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, at the age of 91, following a long, courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease.
A memorial service to celebrate Charlie's life will be held Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 3 p.m. at Noel Memorial United Methodist Church, 520 Herndon Street in Shreveport, with Dr. Pat Day, Dr. Wyrbra Price and the Rev. Mimi McDowell officiating. Interment will be 2 p.m. at Forest Park Cemetery, St. Vincent Avenue prior to the service.
A visitation will be held today, Sept. 10, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 1815 Marshall Street in Shreveport.
Charlie was born Aug. 21, 1922, in Shreveport, La., to Charles Pearl Knight and Blanche Weldon Knight.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Dorothy Willius Knight "Dot," and four sons, Dr. Charles Daniel Knight, Jr., Dr. Fredrick Willius Knight and his wife, Pam, Dr. Daniel Robert Knight and his wife, Summer, all of Shreveport, and Dr. John Thomas Knight and his wife, Elissa, of Los Angeles, Calif.
Dr. Knight (Charlie) graduated from C. E. Byrd High School in 1938, where he was a member of the Louisiana State Championship Debate team and played trumpet in the band. He graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana Summa Cum Laude in 1941. While at Centenary, he was selected "Outstanding Freshman," President of the Freshman Class, member of "Kollege Kapers," member of Kappa Alpha Fraternity (social fraternity) and Alpha Chi (honorary fraternity). Charlie graduated from Tulane
University Medical School in 1944 where he was a member of Phi Chi (social fraternity), ODK (honorary leadership fraternity), and AOA (honorary medical fraternity). He was President of the Sophomore and Senior Classes and President of the "Owls Club." Upon graduation from Tulane Medical School, he received the "Sidney K. Simon Award for Academic Excellence."
In 1941, during his freshman year of medical school, he was inducted into the U.S. Naval Reserve, and upon graduation in 1944, he was commissioned Lt. JG. After nine months of internship at Shreveport Charity Hospital, he was called to active duty in the U.S. Navy
during World War ll. He was stationed at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Seattle, Wash., for three months. Then he was assigned to a Sea plane tender with the Pacific Fleet and later was assigned with the U. S. Marines in Tientsin, China. Upon his honorable discharge from the military, he started a residency in surgery at Shreveport Charity Hospital. He had one and a half years in residency, when in 1948, he was notified of his acceptance of a four-year Fellowship in Surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. While at Mayo, he received a master of science degree in surgery from the University of Minnesota
. It was during this time that he met his wife, Dot, who was working in the Publications Department of the Mayo Clinic. They were married July 6, 1951, in Rochester.
Dr. Knight returned to Shreveport in 1952 and started his long affiliation with Highland Clinic, where he practiced general, thoracic and vascular surgery for 50 years. One year after starting his surgical practice, he was called to active duty as a captain in the United States Air Force during the Korean War
. He was stationed at the 500 bed Air Force Hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany, as "Chief of Surgery." He returned to his surgical practice at Highland Clinic in August, 1954.
Dr. Knight was "Attending Surgeon," Confederate Memorial Medical Center (1952-1970); Chief, Division of General Surgery, Confederate Memorial (1963-1970); Consulting Surgeon, Barksdale Air Force Hospital (1954-1974); Staff Surgeon, Schumpert Memorial Medical Center (1952-1992); Staff Surgeon, Highland Hospital (1952-1992); Medical Director, Highland Hospital; (1993-2000); Medical Director, Cigna Health Plan of N.W. Louisiana.
Among his academic appointments, Dr. Knight was Clinical Associate Professor, Dept. of Postgraduate Medicine (1958-1967); Clinical Associate Professor, Dept. of Surgery (1967-1971); Clinical Professor, Dept. of Surgery, (1971-1992), LSU Medical Center, Shreveport, LA. Dr. Knight was President of the Medical Staff of Confederate Memorial Medical Center (1971-1972) and President of the General Faculty, LSU School of Medicine (1972-1974).
Charlie was honored in June 1992 for his long association and service provided to the Department of Surgery at LSU Medical Center and its predecessor, the Confederate Memorial Medical Center. His former residents commissioned an oil portrait done of him which now hangs in the Surgery Dept. A professorship in the Dept. of Surgery was named in his honor in 2005.
Dr. Knight's professional accomplishments include: Governor of the American College of Surgeons, President of the Priestley Society (Mayo Clinic Surgical Alumni), President of the Shreveport Medical Society, President of the Southern Society of Clinical Surgeons, President of the Surgical Association of Louisiana, President of the Louisiana Chapter of the American College of Surgeons. He was a member of the Southern Surgical Association, Southeastern Surgical Congress, Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons, and Collegium Internationale Chirurgiae Digestivae, International Society of Surgery.
In addition to writing over 30 articles for publication, Charlie became recognized internationally for his innovation of a "stapler technique" for extended low colorectal anastomosis. This gained him recognition at the First Annual European Congress of Viscero-Synthesis that took place in Luxembourg in 1988.
Dr. Knight was a lifetime member of Noel Memorial United Methodist Church, serving as Chairman of the Official Board from (1965-1967). He served on the Centenary College Board of Trustees from 1964 to the present and the Highland Hospital Board from (1980-1988).
Dr. Knight was President of the Caddo chapter of the American Cancer Society (1959-1961), Board of Directors of the Community Chest (1963), United Fund Budget Committee (1965-1971), Shreveport Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (1969-1971), and Shreveport Charter Revision Committee (1970).
Among his many honors: Distinguished Service Award from the Shreveport Medical Society (1992); Jr. Achievement Business Hall of Fame Laureate (1999); C.E. Byrd High School Alumni Hall of Fame (2002); and Centenary College Alumni Hall of Fame (2004).
Surviving Dr. Knight are 11 grandchildren: Emily, Alice, Kathryn and husband David Wood, Matthew, Davis, Will, Evans, Coco, Renee, Noah and Nixon; and two great-grandchildren: Caroline and Camille Wood.
Honoring Dr. Knight as pallbearers are William M. Allums, M.D., Brian L. Dockendorf, M.D., Davis C. Knight, Thomas Evans Knight, William F. Knight, Gordon M. Mead, M.D., David Maxwell, F. Dean Griffin, M.D., Steven C. Whited, M.D., and David Wood.
Honorary pallbearers are Wynton Carroll, M.D. and the Highland Clinic physicians.
With warmest regards, a very special thanks is extended to Dr. Charlie's private nurse, Frankie Williams. Also Dr. Knight's family wishes to express their sincere thanks for the loving care of his private caregivers, Mark Jefferson, Shirley Baldwin and Sheila Alexander, as well as the nurses and staff of Gamble Hospice Care, Shari Powell, Cassandra Walker and Donna Williams.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials may be made to Centenary College, 2911 Centenary Blvd, Shreveport, LA 71104 or Noel Memorial United Methodist Church, 520 Herndon, Shreveport, LA 71101.