Wily W. Knighten Jr., age 89, of The Dalles, Ore., passed away at his daughter’s home on April 23, 2021, after an extended illness.
Wily was born Jan. 31, 1932, in The Dalles, due to it having the closest hospital to Sherman County, Ore., where his father was superintendent of schools and his mother a school teacher. They instilled Wily's thirst for knowledge, which fueled his adventurous spirit. He graduated from Moro High School in 1950, where he participated in every scholastic and sports activity available. He joined the Air Force, honorably discharged in 1955. He married Carol Dubois and had two children, Jodi and Jock. After their divorce, he was married to Renate Stieger until her death.
He retired from the FAA after 33 years of service with the federal government. He then went to work in the private sector for a few years until retiring again. He was a social person, never met a stranger and made friends wherever he went. He was an avid traveler and adventurer. Whether he was flying and camping in Alaska, riding on an elephant in Thailand or eating and drinking in a beer garden in Germany, he's done it. He was proud of both his Knighten and McGregor ancestry. His interest in family history led him to be a member of the Sherman County Historical Society.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Wily W. Knighten Sr. and Donalda McGregor Knighten; his son, Jock Knighten; his wife, Renate Knighten; her daughter, Michaela Winkler; and his sister, Anna Jean Miller.
Survivors include his companion and caretaker, Dorothy Holland; her sons Bill, Craig and Mark Holland and their families; daughter, Jodi Malone and her mother; grandson, Matthew Malone; step-granddaughter, Sabrina Schaller and family; his niece, Laurie Miller; and nephew, John Miller.
His ashes will be placed in Willamette National Cemetery beside his other family members. There will not be a service. If you want to celebrate his life, toast a cocktail, go on an adventure. Whether it is a sports, music, art exhibit, wine tasting, historical monument or travel to another country, he would be there with you in spirit and be happy to be along for the ride!
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Sherman County Historical Society & Museum, P.O. Box 173 Moro, Oregon 97039.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center • Celilo Chapel, 204 E. Fourth St., The Dalles. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.