May 23, 1924 - May 5, 2019
On Sunday, May 5, 2019 Mary “Jo” Knight passed away peacefully surrounded by her family. Jo was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 23, 1924, to Alfred and Emilie Vigil. Her family moved to Denver, Colorado , where she attended elementary school with her one sibling, Gil Vigil.
Her family eventually moved to Los Angeles, California, where she attended Edison Jr. High and graduated from Huntington Park High School. After high school Jo enrolled in Woodbury Business College in L.A., with a career dream of becoming a court reporter. That dream was put on hold when she met Ed Knight, a handsome sailor from Henrietta, Texas, who swept her off her feet with his winning smile and smooth dance moves! They married in 1943, and soon moved to Downey, California, where they raised their six children.
Ed and Jo were proud to be founding members of St. Raymond Catholic Church and School, and despite raising a large family, found time to serve on various committees planning picnics, dances, carnivals, and school events. Jo was active in The Ladies Guild, along with her neighbors and close friends from Circle 10.
In the early 1990’s, Jo decided to fulfill her long-time dream of becoming a secretary by enrolling in classes at Cerritos College to strengthen her office skills. She secured a job at the L.A. County Office of Education as an Administrative Assistant to the director of Curriculum Programs, where she worked until her retirement in 1995.
After her retirement, Jo discovered new and fulfilling ways to use her skills to be of service to others. She began delivering food to the homebound with Meals on Wheels, counseled women in crisis at Su Casa in Bellflower, became a volunteer at The Downey Library, and entertained the elderly in convalescent homes with her choral group, The Emeritones. She also found a creative way to exercise and express her love of dancing by joining “The Tip Top Tappers,” a tap dance group that performed at The L.A. Fair and annual Senior Follies in Downey.
Jo is survived by her six children, Carol (Ed) Wolf, Donna (Frank) Harper, Jane (Gail) Steadman, Joan Knight (Sonnet), Theresa Hadley, and Michael (Julie) Knight. A Memorial Mass celebrating Jo’s life was offered at St. Raymond’s Church on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 on which would have been her 95th birthday. She will be laid to rest with her husband Ed, at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California.