Obituary – Janis King Knight

Published 12:44 pm Monday, November 11, 2019

Janis King Knight, 86, passed away at the Oxford Health and Rehab on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019.  The funeral service will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, at 11 a.m. at St. Andrews United Methodist Church with Rev. Billy Owen officiating.  Visitation will be prior to the service beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the church. Burial will follow in Eastover Memorial Cemetery.  Waller Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. 

Born on June 26, 1933, in Malden, Mo., to the late Cecil Charles and Juanita Edna Provance King, Janis attended Malden Public Schools and graduated Valedictorian from her high school in May 1952, where she was a member of the high school band, yearbook staff, and a student helper in the administrative office.  She earned her BSE degree in Elementary Education from Arkansas State College.  She then earned her Master’s degree in Education from the University of Mississippi in 1977.  

After earning 64 credit hours towards her BSE degree, Janis began her teaching career in the fall of 1953 at Malden Elementary School, where she taught fifth grade. Her teaching career spanned nearly thirty years in the public-school systems in Arkansas, Missouri, and Mississippi.  While teaching in Jackson, Mississippi, Janis developed a program using a student’s typing ability as a tool for improving reading and writing skills. In 1974, this program was supported by and used IBM as an advertisement in Time magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Newsweek. Janis went on to teach fifth grade in the Lafayette County Schools in Oxford for 16 years before retiring in 1991. After retirement, Janis continued to be involved in education by serving as a substitute teacher.

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Following her retirement as a teacher, Janis was a member of the Oxford Women’s Forum, where she served two terms as club president.  During her spare time, she helped out at the Baptist Memorial Hospital North Mississippi as a volunteer worker.  She was a member of St. Andrews United Methodist Church.

Janis also enjoyed world traveling, including trips to England, Scotland, Canada, several European countries, but her favorite destination included the Hawaiian Islands. 

She is preceded in death by her sisters, Phyllis Wolfe and Jane Norman. Above all, her greatest enjoyment was spending time with her family, including her husband, Luther A. Knight, Jr.; and her sons, Scott Knight, and wife, Kathy, all of Oxford, and Charles Knight, of Jackson, Miss., and their families.  She especially enjoyed her grandchildren, Brad, Anna, and Samuel Knight. She is also survived by four brothers, Cecil King of Vero Beach, Fla., Wyman King, of Grants, N.M., Wayne King, of Show Low, Ariz., and Tracy King, of Swansboro, N.C.

Memorial contributions in Mrs. Knight’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601 ( or the Juanita Provance Memorial Scholarship, P.O. Box 1620, State University, AR 72467.

For additional information or to leave an online condolence, please call 662-234-7971 or visit