Larry was born Feb. 1, 1933, in Ontario, Or., the only child of Ralph and Odessa Knight. He attended elementary school in Sandpoint, Id., where his father managed an experimental agriculture facility for the University of Idaho. He completed high school in Aberdeen, Id., and went on to pre-medical studies at the University of Idaho. It was there that he met Kathryn Laven, who became his wife in 1955. They lived in Seattle for Larry’s four years of medical school. Kaye taught school and kept the household together with minimal resources, and Larry “moonlighted” at Group Health of Seattle. This was followed by a year of internship and three years of specialty training in pathology – initially at Denver General Hospital, followed by the Denver VA and University of Colorado hospitals.
His initial practice began with two years at Oklahoma City VA Hospital, the latter year as chief of pathology, after which he, Kaye, and three children moved to Boise. He rapidly rose to chief of pathology and nuclear medicine – including setting up the first nuclear medicine imaging facility in the area – at St. Luke’s Hospital. After 12 years at St. Luke’s, the Boise VA Hospital offered him the opportunity to participate in their developing affiliation with the University of Washington, which included active involvement in teaching and research, as well as continued service-oriented pathology. He completed this transition in 1979 and remained as Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine until his retirement in 1996. The change gave him the opportunity to participate in a variety of rewarding professional activities at the local, state and national levels, as well as take a larger part in family-oriented activities. In 1996, he officially “retired” from the VA, but remained in an active consulting capacity for an additional 15 years, until his final retirement in 2011 – a total of 50 years as a licensed physician.
Larry had a life-long love of the outdoors, and enjoyed golf, tennis, fly fishing, skiing, photography, and – for a briefer but still enjoyable period – flying small aircraft. He and Kay shared an interest in the world about them, and traveled widely, especially in Europe and Britain. Larry was active in professional and community organizations, including the Idaho Medical Association (12 years on Board of Trustees, eight very rewarding years as American Medical Association Delegate), University of Idaho Alumni Association (Board of Directors, National President), U of I Parents Association, U of I Foundation Board of Directors, and College of Science Advisory Board. He was a member and past president of Centennial Kiwanis.
For more than a decade he was Idaho Medical Ass’n. delegate to the United States Pharmacopeial convention and spent six very active years on the Citizen’s Advisory Board to Idaho National Laboratory. He held numerous medical staff positions at St. Luke’s and VA Hospitals, was a founding partner of Treasure Valley Laboratory, and was on the original executive committee of Mountain States Tumor Institute.
Professional affiliations: Ada County Medical Society (past president), Idaho Medical Association, American Medical Association, College of American Pathologists (Idaho-Montana Lab. Commissioner) American Society of Clinical Pathologists, Pacific Northwest Society of Pathologists, Mountain States Medical Research Institute, Idaho Laboratory Proficiency Committee (founding chair), University of Washington Clinical Faculty, BSU Health Sciences Advisory Board, US Pharmacopoeia, United States Army Reserve.
Community service, honors: University of Idaho (see above), Kiwanis International, Boise Women’s and Children’s Alliance, Idaho National Lab. Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Beta Kappa, Jim Lyle Award for volunteerism.
Larry and Kay were inducted into the University of Idaho 1889 Society, and in 2016, he received the Idaho WWAMI Alumni Award, bestowed by the internationally famed five state medical education program originating at the University of Washington.
He is survived by his wife, Kaye, and five children: K.C. Waddel (Richard), Waynesburg, PA; Kelly Hoyt (Douglas), E. Dundee, IL; Kristin Hicks, Boise; David Knight (Regine), Montreal, CA; and Karin Tollefson Iuliano (Bill), Boise. He leaves behind 13 grandchildren – all his favorites – and one great grandson. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A life-long learner, he enjoyed for years the Friday morning mix of breakfast, science, and friendship at the Boise Doctors’ Journal Club.
Memorials may be directed to the Medical Education Scholarship Trust (of which he was the founding chair) of the Idaho Medical Association, 305 W Jefferson, Boise, 83702.
A memorial service is pending in the summer.