Leonard Knight, the creative vision and drive behind Salvation Mountain just outside Niland, died today. He was 82 years old. Knight died in his sleep about 1:40 p.m. in Eldorado Care Center in El Cajon, where he had been living for more than two years.
Dan Westfall of San Diego and president of Salvation Mountain Inc. said Knight kept getting weaker and weaker following the loss of his leg, his hearing and his sight. He stopped eating two weeks ago, Westfall said.
Services have not been set yet, but Westfall said part of Knight’s ashes will be interred at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma — his was a Korean War veteran — and part will be spread at Salvation Mountain.
Knight last visited his creation in November, where he celebrated his 82nd birthday.
Before he went into a long-term care facility in December 2011, Knight had lived more than 20 years at Salvation Mountain, much of that time in a small camper, as he singlehandedly built the mountain from abode and paint.