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Obituary (VA): Mrs. Virginia (Richard H. Knight '46)

Posted on 04/27/2018

Frances Conway ("Connie") Davis Knight, a longtime resident of Virginia Beach, died on April 20, 2018. She was 94. She was the widow of the late Captain Richard Holmes Knight (United States Navy, Retired), her husband of nearly 59 years. Mrs. Knight is survived by three children, Mrs. Susan K. Cabot (Lewis P. Cabot) of Boston, Massachusetts; Richard H. Knight, Jr. (Linda W. Knight) of Nashville, Tennessee; and Mrs. Jennifer K. Fries (the late Eric V. Fries) of Bluffton, South Carolina; five grandchildren (Katherine Bransford Knight, Elizabeth Davis Knight, James Eliot Cabot, Alexander Lee Cabot, and Matthew Thornton Fries); and three great-grandchildren. Mrs. Knight's parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Lucius Davis (Elisabeth Bryant Crittenden) of Orange County, Virginia, and four sisters and one brother predeceased her. Mrs. Knight was born on February 27, 1924, in Washington, D.C., and moved with her family to Orange County, Virginia, in 1930, where they resided at "Mount Valley," the Davis family's ancestral home and farm. Mrs. Knight graduated from Unionville High School, Unionville, Virginia, in 1939, at the age of 15, from Averett Junior College, Danville, Virginia (where she was May Queen), in 1941, at the age of 17, and from the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1943, at the age of 19. After college, Mrs. Knight taught at Mitchell College, Statesville, North Carolina, and was executive secretary to Virginia Supreme Court Justice George L. Browning, of Orange, Virginia. On June 8, 1945, Mrs. Knight married Ensign Richard Holmes Knight, United States Navy, in the Naval Academy Chapel, Annapolis, Maryland, just two days after his graduation from the Naval Academy. Thus began Mrs. Knight's long and enjoyable association with the Navy. During her husband's successful thirty-year career in the Navy, a success in which she played a very large part, the family moved at least 15 times, and lived on both coasts and in Brazil. Mrs. Knight was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach; the Jamestowne Society; the Adam Thoroughgood Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution; the Suffolk Chapter of the Colonial Dames XVII Century; the Robert Hunt Chapter of the Daughters of the American Colonists; the National Society of the Magna Carta Dames; the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Society of the U.S. Daughters of 1812; the Order of the Crown of Charlemagne in the USA; the Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims; the Descendants of the Signers of the Constitution; the Order of Americans of Armorial Ancestry; the Order of Descendants of Ancient Planters; and the Pickett-Buchanan Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. For years, she was a docent at the Lynnhaven House. Mrs. Knight was a patriotic American and proud of her Virginia roots. The family would like to thank a very special friend, Norma Price, for her many years of devotion to Mrs. Knight and Captain Knight. A memorial service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery, with interment to follow, later this year. Memorials may be made to the Jamestowne Society (P.O. Box 6845, Richmond, VA 23239), the First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach (300 36th Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23451), or to the charity of one's choice . Online condolences may be made to the family at