Lendall B. Knight ’41 died on March 27, 2016, in Cumberland Foreside, Maine.
(The following was published in the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on March 30, 2016):
CUMBERLAND FORESIDE – Lendall B. Knight, 96, was born in Boston, Mass., on April 2, 1919. He died peacefully in Cumberland Foreside on Easter morning, March 27, 2016. Len was the son of Everett S. Knight and Jessie R. (Robbins) Knight. Len and his younger brother, Lloyd R. Knight, grew up in the oldest framed house in Limerick, which has remained in the Knight family since 1836.
Valedictorian of his Limerick High School class, Len graduated from Bowdoin College in 1941, where he earned his B.S. degree in economics. He was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and served as Bowdoin Alumni Fund Chairman and director in past years. Len was also a member of the Bowdoin Alumni Council for many years. Len enthusiastically attended his reunions and numerous events at Bowdoin, missing his class reunion for the first time in 2015.
Following his graduation from Bowdoin in 1941, Len received his commission in the United States Navy at Northwestern University, Chicago. Len attended intelligence school in Boston, and was initially on active duty in Washington, D.C. Upon the outbreak of World War II, Len requested to be reassigned and to serve on a Maine-made ship. He was assigned to the destroyer U.S.S. O’Bannon DD-450, which was built at Bath Iron Works. The O’Bannon was the most decorated destroyer of the war, earning 17 battle stars and the distinction of being present in Tokyo Harbor to accept the Japanese surrender. Len served as a Lieutenant (jg) on the O’Bannon and helped fight the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal inside one of the O’Bannon’s gun mounts. The O’Bannon led the way, attacking at point-blank range, and was a major factor in sinking the Japanese flagship, the Hieri, which was 12 times the size of the O’Bannon. Len steadfastly attended O’Bannon reunions, traveling throughout the country until very recent years. Len also served as Lt. Commander on the destroyers U.S.S. Hall DD-583 and U.S.S. Haggard DD-555. During WWII, Len also fought at the battle of Leyte Gulf, Philippines, and at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. While serving on the Haggard, Len experienced a kamikaze attack which, regrettably, took the lives of a dozen of his shipmates at the Battle of Okinawa.
Among Len’s significant WWII awards are the Navy Presidential Unit Citation, American Defense Service Medal, European-Africa Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 10 Bronze Stars, Philippine Liberation with one Bronze Star, and WWII Victory Ribbon. Upon discharge from the U.S. Navy, Len held the rank of Lt. Commander.
Len and his family are thankful that he could attend the dedication of the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., in May of 2004. He was escorted and accompanied by his good friend George Philip III, LtCol USMC (ret.), whose father Lieutenant George Philip Jr. served with Len onboard the O’Bannon. George Philip Jr. later died in battle as commanding officer of U.S.S. Twiggs. Len was also recently presented an Eagle Head cane by Lt. Colonel Peter Ogden (USA) of the Maine Veteran’s Affairs, in recognition of Len’s WWII service.
Len attended the University of Connecticut School of Law, and was admitted to the Maine Bar in 1953. He became involved in banking for more than 20 years, serving as a vice-president and trust officer at several Maine banks, including Merrill Trust in Bangor, and Casco and Canal Banks in Portland. He was initially associated with Connecticut Bank & Trust Company in Hartford. In 1975 Len joined a three-generation family law firm, Titcomb, Fenderson & Titcomb (formerly Titcomb and Siddall), which was founded by former York County prosecutor and municipal judge Edward S. Titcomb. Len fully retired from Titcomb, Marass, Flaherty & Knight when he and his wife Mary relocated to Falmouth in 2007.
In 1950, Len married Mary Titcomb, daughter of Edward S. Titcomb and Margaret Hewey Titcomb. Edward’s ances- tors owned the Titcomb Shipyard in Kennebunk and Margaret’s father was a former U.S. federal court magistrate. Len and Mary actually met at the old York County Jail in Alfred while Len’s father, Everett, was serving as sheriff of York County from 1939-1954, and while Mary’s father, Edward, was municipal judge. Len’s mother, Jessie, was York County clerk of courts for several years. Len and Mary were married for 57 years and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the home of Daniel and Beda Knight in North Yarmouth with 100 guests in attendance, including all Mary’s bridesmaids.
Len, Mary, and their three sons, Bart, Dan, and Len, moved from Hampden Highlands to Cape Elizabeth in the early 1960s, where they resided until 1980. Len was an avid gardener. He was passionate about beautifying his yard on Oakhurst Road, especially growing roses. Len often came home with a first place ribbon from the Maine Rose Society.
Len was also active in managing his woodlots in Limerick and Parsonsfield, consulting with foresters and selectively cutting in a responsible and environmentally friendly way. Len was a Maine Medical Corporator and mentor of the Mayflower Society. He was also a past president of the Corporate Fiduciaries Association of Maine, and a member of the American Legion and Rotary Club.
Len and Mary moved to Springvale in 1980 where they resided until 2007. They were active members of the North Parish Church in Sanford, now known as the United Church of Christ, where they were married. Len was predeceased by Mary in August 2008. While residing in Cape Elizabeth, Len and Mary were members of the First Congregational Church in South Portland.
Len lived independently at Applegate, Falmouth, until June of 2014 when he elected to move to Ledgeview Assisted Living in Cumberland Foreside. Len enjoyed his neighbors at Applegate, and his family is grateful for the exceptional care he received at Ledgeview, as well as from his personal caregiver and friend, Leslie Treadwell of Cape Elizabeth.
Len is survived by his brother Lloyd R. Knight and his wife Ellen L. Knight, of Cape Elizabeth; son Barton T. Knight and his wife Stephanie Bubar Knight, of Cumberland; son Daniel S. Knight and his wife Beda Fanning Knight, of North Yarmouth; son Lendall S. Knight, Captain, USN (ret.), of Washington, D.C.; grandchildren Margaret, Samuel, William, Lana, Fredrick, Andrew and Lucianna; and great-grandsons Ivan and Treston.