DOVER, Del.- Students and colleagues at Dover High School are remembering a beloved band director. Lenny Knight died suddenly Tuesday at the age of 46.
Knight, a graduate of Dover High, led the Senators' marching band for 15 years. Knight's motto was "100 percent heart, 100 percent effort," and those who knew him say he lived by that motto every day.
"You could feel the passion coming off of him, because he was doing what he loved," said Daniel Balenzuela, a former Dover High student and band president.
Reginald Daniel, assistant marching band director, said of Knight, "All he ever wanted from the people he taught was to give as much as they could and to love the music as much as he did."
Knight left Dover High in 2015 to take the position of assistant band director of Delaware State University's marching band. He was also involved with Delaware Technical and Community College's band and served as director of Delaware's "Blue and Gold Band."
DSU Director of Bands Dr. Harvey Bullock Jr. told WBOC media partner the Delaware State News he received a text from Knight just before 5 p.m. Tuesday indicating a medical procedure had gone well and he would return to work on Thursday.
Three hours later, Bullock found out through a mutual acquaintance that his long-time friend had died.
“It was a feeling of disbelief,” Bullock said.
According to the Delaware State News, a post on the Dover High School Alumni Association Facebook page indicated that Knight succumbed to complications from diabetes and ongoing health issues.
The newspaper also reports that former DSU Director of Bands Randolph J. Johnson — who mentored Knight when he was a student in the 1990s and later worked with him — spoke at a meeting for band members on campus Wednesday afternoon that included available counselors and school officials. Some Dover High students also attended.
“My message was that the pain will never go away, but if he touched you in life, even though he’s physically not here any more, he will always be in your heart,” Johnson said.
There is no word yet on funeral arrangements.