Major Charles Wright Knighton USAF (ret.) 82 of Tuckasegee, NC, passed away peacefully Saturday, December 7, 2019, in his own home, and in the arms of his loving wife and son.
He was born on June 12, 1937 in Montgomery, Alabama to the late James and Mary Knighton. As a young Eagle Scout, Major Knighton was awarded the Young American Award for Bravery by Dwight D. Eisenhower at the White House. As an USAF enlisted man he attended Auburn University in order to enter Flight School, and advanced to Fighter Pilot, Test Pilot, and Instructor Pilot, who in addition to setting the long distance flight record in the RF-84, served as a decorated combat pilot during the Vietnam War.
As a businessman, he built the largest medical manufacturer's representative organization in the Southeastern US, Charles Knighton and Associates, oversaw the construction and management of the Marathon, FL airport during its conversion from a local to international airport, finally establishing Cloud 9 Home Inspections during his retirement.
An avid outdoorsman, Major Knighton had a lifelong passion for hunting, fishing, and deeply loved the Western North Carolina Mountains, where he built his final home.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret R. Knighton and son Charles J. Knighton.
A military service with honors will be held Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 12:00 PM at the the North Carolina Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain, NC, with Rev. Kevin Chapman officiating.
Bryant-Grant Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Knighton family. Online condolences are available at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.
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