Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Come As You Are Memorial

We would like to remind everyone that the memorial service is tomorrow at Great Oaks Banquets, see details in prior blog posts.

2:00 - 6:00 pm, there is an open house where some of Riley's memorabilia can be honored and his bestie, Katie Solina, has been hard at work creating some amazing photo collages.  At 6:00, we will hold a more structured Memorial Service.

This is a casual memorial service.  Nikki and friends are raiding Riley's old T-shirts and pairing them up with a comfy pair of jeans!  Last Saturday, we came together to celebrate Riley and Nikki's union in marriage and all wore our Sunday best.  Tomorrow, we will all be just as beautiful in our comfort clothes while we celebrate Riley's life.

I can't promise I won't wear heels though.  ;). 

Finally, again, in lieu of flowers, please feel free to follow any of the suggestions in the Open Letter, or you may financially contribute to either memorial fund set-up in honor of Riley's favorite things.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tribute to Linda Darlington

Please follow this link to learn more about Linda Darlington.  Her death is the other half of our sadness and our hearts grieve with her family and the Little Brickies she was growing in her garden.

Peace and love to your hearts, Lovers of Mrs. Darlington.  We are so very sorry for your loss.


William Riley Knight

William Riley Knight, age 49, of Crown Point IN, died Saturday, December 14, 2013. Riley was born in Chicago to Alyce and William “Red” Knight, on November 22, 1964. He grew up in Schererville, IN and graduated from Lake Central High School.
Riley joined the Army in 1984. He served his country until 1995, separating from the Army as a Sergeant in A Company, 4th Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry at Ft. Bragg, N.C.  While in the army, he served overseas during the Panama Invasion and Operation Desert Storm.  He was VERY proud of his 178 airborne jumps and 3 combat jumps.
Riley was a member of American Legion, Post number 20. He was also a member of the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion, WWII Living History Group.
Riley loved theater, singing, hunting, the Living History Group reenactments, and his family and friends.
Riley is survived by his loving wife, Nikki.  Although they were married for only a few hours, Riley and Nikki, over the past several years, had created a blended family. Riley is also survived by his daughters Cora, Abby, and Allie, and by his son Collin.
Riley was a dedicated dad. He tried never to miss a football game or practice, soccer, softball, or band and choir concerts. He supported and nurtured all his kids. He encouraged them to try any activity their hearts desired, and when they found one they liked, he inspired them to stick with it and not give up. He was a father, he was a husband, and he was a soldier, in that order.
Tom McAdams has so very graciously donated his services and place of business for us to gather and celebrate Riley’s life.
Family and Friends are invited to a visitation on Thursday December 19, 2013 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., with a memorial service from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the Great Oaks After Four Club, 13109 Wicker Ave., Cedar Lake, IN.

Memorial Services and Funds Information

Photo Credit Katie Solina

Memorial services for Riley Knight will be held Thursday, December 19, 2013 from 2:00 - 7:00 pm

Great Oaks Banquets' owner Tom McAdams has generously donated the hall where Riley was married to his wife, Nikki this past Saturday and where they had met 8 years prior. The hall is located at 13109 Wicker Avenue, Cedar Lake, Indiana, off US HWY 41.  

Per Riley’s wishes, he will be cremated and there will be no viewing as his family wishes that he is remembered as he was on his wedding day.  

Again, we request that the media allow privacy to those grieving for this loss and are asked to stay off the property as well as the adjacent lot of the Knights of Columbus.  Mobile phones and photography will be prohibited.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either of the following memorial funds:

For his and Nikki's four children, donations may be made to

Remember The Knights Survivorship Fund
c/o GDWI
954 Eastport Centre Dr.
Suite E
Valparaiso, IN 46383

This fund is being sponsored by First Financial Bank in Schererville, IN

Riley was a proud veteran.  To honor that, please donate in his honor to

Wounded Warrior Project

or mail checks in his memory to:
Wounded Warrior Project
P.O. Box 758517
Topeka, Kansas 66675

Open Letter to Media, Public, Friends and Family: 12-14-13 The Happiest and Hardest of Winter Days

Thank you so much for the interest and concern for the family of Riley Knight, who so unexpectedly passed Saturday night in a tragic road accident.  His loss is massive to our lives, particularly to those of his wife and children.  
On behalf of my family, we send our most heart-felt condolences to the family of Linda Darlington who also died in this accident.  It seems she was greatly loved by the community of Hobart, Indiana as a teacher of excellence and mother of three.  We are deeply saddened for her loved ones.  This world lost two amazing people this past Saturday evening and we will continue to search for meaning in that.
We hope this statement along with a press release satiates the media, some who have been quite aggressive in knocking on the doors of, and finding the phone numbers of our grieving loved ones, including continuous calls to Riley's children’s mobile phones.  We hope they can take what they need from this statement and allow our family and friends to continue our grieving privately, especially Nikki and their children, who had not been able to go and seek solace in their own home for fear of disturbances.
Indeed, Riley was a beloved man, taking laughter, affection, and a song with him wherever he went.  Some of his greatest loves included his wife and children, his country, service to others, and community theatre.
Riley would not want to be remembered as a hero or good samaritan, necessarily.  He died doing what he thought any man should do - helping another citizen. We hope that if others take anything away from this loss, it is that laughter, love, and service are how Riley spent ALL of his moments, and the fact that he passed while just being himself is not a news story - it was his life.
While we understand that the sad fact that his passing occurred on the same evening as his wedding is an appealing news story, we know that Riley would not want the focus to be on a "news-worthy headline", but on the thousands of other people suffering losses of loved ones, especially those men and women in service to our country, during the holiday season.
The fact is that Nikki and Riley have been running a household and co-parenting for a number of years.  Nikki is not a tragic new bride, she lost her partner this weekend, and she wishes for the freedom to grieve and care for the business of her family.  She wishes to be able to be in the home she shared with Riley and expect that she will only be visited by familiar loved ones with genuine concern for her home and children.  She wishes for her children to be able to grieve as children do, without being expected to manage statements of expression of their confusing grief or even loving memories of their father to strangers.  These amazing kids are forever changed with Riley's absence. This is not a story, it is their lives.
To honor Riley, we will be setting up Memorial Funds in his name for some of his favorite things, or we have these suggestions:
Do something nice for a stranger, a neighbor, another grieving family, or a veteran.  
Go support your local community theatre.  
Smother your children with love tonight, tomorrow and every day.  
Laugh and honor your lover as if it were your wedding night.  
In honor of Linda Darlington, give extra thanks for the teachers who care for and nurture the minds of your children.  
Go make your own news-worthy headlines and make them good, fun, honorable, affectionate, and full of love.  
Do not make your acts of kindness random, make them often and always.

Hoping your holiday season is full of love, laughter, and song, because that's what Riley would want for all of us.

With Affection,
The Family of Riley and Nikki Knight 
and their amazing children.