Keith B. Knighton, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed March 13, 2024 after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease. He passed peacefully in the comfort of his home, surrounded by family, in a room filled with love.

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Keith was born on November 1, 1933 in Ogden, Utah the son of Daniel William Knighton and Minerva Leantine Barker. He served as a missionary in Norway from 1954-1956. Keith later served his country in the United States Army and was stationed in Bad Aibling, Germany from 1957-1960 primarily intercepting Morse code transmissions. He then attended the University of Utah where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Music and a Teaching certificate. During his time there, he attended a dance where he met LaNor Fail, his future wife and the most important person in his life. Keith and LaNor were married on August 17, 1962 in the Manti Temple, and have stayed faithful to each other ever since. Throughout his life Keith was known for his excellence in music, faithful church service and above all, his unwavering devotion to his family.

As a highly trained music educator, Keith was a pioneer in integrating the philosophy of the Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály to music education in the United States. Following his Master’s Degree in Music Education at the New England Conservatory of Music, he was among five Americans who had the unique opportunity in 1970 to study at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary from music educators who were taught directly from Zoltán Kodály. That year in Hungary not only shaped his career, but also became a defining moment in his life as he, LaNor and their young family created a deep understanding of the strength that can come from growing together and relying on each other, especially in a foreign country under communist rule at the time.

As a dedicated and lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Keith found deep fulfillment in its service. While on his mission, his beloved mother Leantine Barker passed away at Christmas time. During that emotional time, he fulfilled his mother’s wishes by remaining in Norway and finishing his service there. A highlight of Keith’s life was singing in the world-renowned Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square (formerly known as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir) for four years. Keith grew in Christlike love as he served as president of the newly formed Boston Branch with members from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds. When this church calling was extended, he was told “just love them” which he certainly did and witnessed the power of Gospel unity. He loved all of his church callings, from leadership to choir director, but found especially great joy in serving in both the Boston and Salt Lake Temples. He cherished the ordinances, covenants and blessings unique to Latter-day Saint Temples and served as an assistant recorder, ordinance worker and patron.

As a husband and father, Keith was a pillar of strength, reliability and guidance, imparting invaluable lessons of integrity and faith to his children through his example. He was their steadfast source of support, their biggest cheerleader, and their chauffeur. He taught the value of hard work as they all worked together on various family projects, from bee-keeping to running a family business. In between he could be found in various classrooms teaching educators, adults and children the Kodály philosophy to help them emerge with a trained ear, a trained intellect, a trained heart and trained hands. One of his favorite songs to teach was “Fee Fie Fo” and the tender story behind it.

Keith’s role as a grandfather and great-grandfather brought him immense joy and fulfillment. He made a point to build meaningful relationships with every one of his posterity and always had a story to tell, a song to sing, and would strive to be present at the meaningful moments of their lives. He adored his posterity and could talk about them endlessly to anyone who would listen.

As his health was declining, Keith was indebted to his wife LaNor, a retired nurse of 50 years, who provided dedicated, loving and constant care for his day to day needs.

Keith is survived by his wife LaNor, and his children Marguerite (Tom) Dietrich, Brian (Nicky) Knighton, RoseMarie (Jeff) Briggs, and Jeff (Heidi) Knighton, 16 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.



Friday, Mar. 22, 2024 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day saints
6350 South Rodeo Road
Murray, UT 84121


Saturday, Mar. 23, 2024 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day saints
6350 South Rodeo Road
Murray, UT 84121

Funeral Service

Saturday, Mar. 23, 2024 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day saints
6350 South Rodeo Road
Murray, UT 84121


Saturday, Mar. 23, 2024 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM
Ogden city Cemetery
1875 Monroe Blvd
Ogden, UT 84401

Services Handled By

Memorial Murray Mortuary
5850 S 900 E
Murray, UT

Life Story Info

Post Date

Mar 18, 2024

Personal Info


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