Another Moab legend has left us. Helen Marie Knight suddenly passed away on Tuesday,
Jan. 22, at St Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colorado.
The youngest daughter of Arthur Ray (Hardwater) and Madolyn Knight, she was born on April 3, 1950, in Moab.
She was born with a lot of energy and maintained it her whole life. Knight had a long friendship with Bill Caudell. Later in her life, she married Jim Hoffman and was later divorced.
One day in 1955 when Knight came home from school, she excitedly told her mom that they named the school after her that day. She was always very proud of that. Knight’s daughter, RaeLynn, said the school is named after her mother’s great-aunt, who was also named Helen M. Knight.
Knight loved life and people. No one was a stranger to her. She had the ability to talk to anyone as if she had known them her whole life. Sometimes her family felt like she met new people as they drove into town because she seemed to know them before anyone else did. As a young girl, she babysat a lot and she seemed to know most of the children in town because they were always excited to see her.
She started work at the Western Grill as a junior in high school. She struggled in school, but made her best grades when she was working full time as well as going to school full time. She graduated from Grand County High School in Moab in 1968.
Knight met Bill Caudell in the late 1960s. They never married, but had a daughter, RaeLynn, born on Oct 30, 1972. RaeLynn was the delight of her life. Caudell moved to Oregon and wasn’t around much during RaeLynn’s upbringing. He passed away when RaeLynn was 16.
About the only time she didn’t live in Moab was when she went Utah State University for six months to become a Title I teacher. She then came home and worked at the elementary school for about three years.
Knight worked at the Midland Telephone company in the mid-1980s. In combination with her other jobs, she worked as a waitress. She was an exceptional one and when the tourists overtook the town, she got to know many of them, and every year when they would come for their visits they would always look her up. She never forgot their names. Many would bring her gifts and send her cards from all over the world.
She loved to listen to music, especially Elvis Presley and George Strait. One of her favorite memories was when she was given tickets to a George Strait concert from some good friends. She was planning on going to see him again in February.
Knight learned her love for dancing at an early age from her mom and dad. Any chance she had, she would be spinning, swinging, two-stepping or jitterbugging around the floor. You never knew when you would be her next dance partner. She was always so proud that she got to dance next to Burt Reynolds in the movie “Fade In.” She would always tell her family and friends that she was a little embarrassed because she accidentally kicked him. Then she would laugh.
Knight is survived by her daughter, RaeLynn; her grandchildren, Abby and Jake; her
siblings, Jeri (Merald White), Ginger (Garold Beddoes), Kathryn (Dennis Wilberg) and Robert
(Kathy) Knight; many nieces and nephews; as well as her many, many friends near and far.
Knight was proceeded in death by her parents; a brother, Don Lyman; and grandnephew Westley Morgan Ing. Memorial services will be held on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 11 a.m. at the Moab LDS Stake Center on Locust Lane, with a viewing at 10 a.m. prior to the funeral. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com.