Brother Dave Knight Joins The Chapter Eternal

Dave Knight, 71, died peacefully in his home in Conifer on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, with his wife, Susan, by his side. Dave succumbed to Acute Myeloid Leukemia, which he valiantly fought for more than eight months.

David Wayne Knight was born Aug. 18, 1949, in Minneapolis. His mother was Joyce Violet Young Auvin Knight Swett, and his adoptive father was Earl "Bunny" Wilbur Knight.

He was raised in Skowhegan, Maine. While attending Skowhegan Area High School, he worked the swing shift making yarn at the Maine Spinning Company Mill.

The day after he graduated high school in 1967, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served three years: He fought with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam from January 1968 to January 1969. After Vietnam, he was stationed at Fort Carson, Colo., until October 1969. Then he served in Kaiserslautern, Germany, till July 1970. He was honorably discharged as a sergeant in the U.S. Army in July 1970.

He went to work for Western Electric in Pueblo, Colo., from 1970 to 1973. During this time, he lived in Salida, Colo. He found a job working for Milt Tillerson as an apprentice for Alpine Drilling in Cañon City, Colo., learning the trade that he would continue in for the next 47 years: a water well driller and pump tech. He worked for Milt for several years.

Around 1986, he went to work for Nolan Young, owner/operator of Young's Contract Drilling in Cañon City. Dave got his license in 1988. Over time, Nolan sold his business to Dave.

Dave moved to Westcliffe, Colo., with his business: Young's Drilling. There he drilled wells, installed and replaced well pumps, and installed, maintained and repaired windmills on ranches. His service area was all over south-central Colorado from Gunnison to Pueblo.

In 1999, Dave retired and lived in Colorado Springs until 2000. At 52 years old, he returned to the well business in 2001, working for Tim Kunau of Kunau Drilling in Ellicott, Colo., as a pump tech until 2003. He then moved to Teller County in the mountains west of Colorado Springs and worked for Mick Bates as a pump tech at Black Mountain Drilling & Pumps in Divide, Colo.

In November 2009, Dave moved with his fiancée, Susan, to Evergreen to work as a pump tech for GeoWater Services LLC. He worked there until just a few weeks before he passed away.

Dave met Susan on Nov. 2, 2008, at the City Market grocery store in Woodland Park, Colo. Though they didn't speak, they were instantly connected in their hearts. Nine days later on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2008, Susan saw Dave in Loaf-n-Jug and said, "I remember you from the grocery store. Are you married?" When he said he was not, she said, "Me neither! Here's my phone number; let's have coffee!"

He called the next day, and their love bloomed instantly. Dave was 59 years old at the time; Susan was 49. They were married Feb. 22, 2010. Their motto was, "It's never too late to live happily ever after."

Dave was an avid fan of the Colorado Avalanche hockey team. He enjoyed country dancing, pheasant hunting, running in half and full marathons including the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon, and hiking to seek sheds (antlers).

He was an active supporting member of the International Western Music Association from 2010 to 2020 as his wife pursued her career as a western music singer/songwriter and cowgirl poet.

David Wayne Knight is survived by his wife, Susan Knight; brother Donald Knight (Jill) of Litchfield, N.H.; stepmother Beatrice Knight of Bangor, Maine; daughter Dawn Marie Bilby (Rick) of Navarre, Fla.; stepson Michael Merrill (Kristy) of Hanover Park, Ill.; grandchildren Ron Anton, Colton Merrill, Eleigh Merrill, Avery Merrill and Finley Merrill; and great-grandson Lucas Anton.

Published by Canyon Courier from Oct. 21 to Nov. 11, 2020.