William Lamar (Bill) Knighten went peacefully home to his Creator on January 9, 2021, after a brief illness and a long, wonderful and accomplished life. A loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, brother and friend, he lives forever in the many hearts of those who loved and cherished him.
Bill was the first born to William and Evie Knighten (†) in Amity, Arkansas on August 24, 1929, and grew up in Arkansas, Texas and California, with his brothers, Clifford (†) and Larry Knighten. He proudly served his country from, 1949 to 1955, as Active US Army Reserve during the Korean War era. He completed diesel mechanic school and quickly became a master in his field, achieving the rank of Sergeant First Class (E7) before his honorable discharge. He took his expertise as a Master Mechanic to the pipeline industry where he worked for various contractors, traveling with his family throughout the US. He was then hired by National Supply/Armco Steel, and was transferred to Odessa where he has resided since.
He founded Knighten Machine & Service in 1969, with a commitment to service, quality, integrity and honesty with both customers and employees. He and the company are recipients of numerous awards and honors, but he was particularly proud to be an inductee into the Odessa Business Hall of Fame. Knighten Industries has expanded to 150 employees and over 11 state-of-the-art facilities throughout Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Mr. Bill, as he was fondly called, loved his work and work family, and continued working for the company until just weeks before his death.
He is survived by Martha Knighten, his loving wife of 30 years; his children, Allan (Patricia) Knighten of Albuquerque, NM; Margaret (Ron) Leach; James (Jackie) Knighten; and Brian (Jeannie) Knighten, all of Odessa, Texas; stepsons Miguel Marquez and Abel Marquez Sr.; brother Larry Knighten; grandchildren, BJ, Jessica, Kalabie, Jadanna, Adrienne, Jaron, Joy, Shelby and Abel Jr.; and numerous nieces, nephews, in-laws, great-grandchildren, employees and dear friends.
Bill’s committed love for Jesus was reflected, not only in serving in his church as a Deacon and Sunday School teacher, but in the rich and everlasting friendships from within his church community. He loved home cooking, hunting and fishing in the great outdoors, guitar music, gospel quartets and singing gospel at family gatherings around the piano.
A viewing, with COVID-19 protocols in place, will be held on Saturday, January 16, 2021, 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the First Assembly of God Church, 1101 N Lee Ave, Odessa, TX 7976. A Celebration of Life memorial service is planned for a future date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made, in his honor, to Operation Smile, at https://www.operationsmile.org or by phone at 1-888-249-3797.
The Knighten family extends heartfelt gratitude to the doctors and nurses at Midland Memorial Hospital and the caring support, during this time, from friends, employees and neighbors.
“A life well lived is a legacy of joy, pride and pleasure, a living lasting memory which our grateful hearts will treasure.”
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