George A Knowles

September 16, 1922 - October 01, 2012

George A Knowles

September 16, 1922 - October 01, 2012


George A. Knowles, age 90 passed away on Monday, October 1, 2012. He was born September 16, 1922 in Wenatchee, WA to Bernard and Erma Knowles. He graduated from Wenatchee High School in 1940 and entered the University of Washington, becoming a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. His college studies were interrupted when enlisted in the US Air Corps in 1943 and was honorably discharged in 1946. He graduated with B.A. from the School of Business at the University of Washington in 1947. George married Martha Pierce July 19, 1947 and was married for 63 years. In 1948 they spent two years in Manila in the Philippine Islands where he was a sales representative for an import/export firm. George and Martha returned to Bellingham in 1950 and he began working at the Leopold Hotel with Marthas father, John Pierce. By 1960 George was the manager of the hotel and in 1965 became the owner until he retired when he sold the hotel in 1979. George began his third career as a travel agent for University Travel, organizing and leading tour groups to Europe and SE Asia from 1980 1990. In 1990 he became active in the Whatcom Museum, serving as a member on the Collection Committee until 2002. He also obtained donations of Helen Loggie etchings and drawings for the Western Gallery at WWU and obtained a major donation of her copper plates of her etchings to the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, WA. He was also a member of the Bellingham Arts Commission from 1990 2001. George and Martha received the Bellingham Mayors Arts Award from Mayor Tim Douglas in 1992 and they were honored by the Bellingham Municipal Arts Commission in April 1993 for their outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Bellingham, recognizing their personal commitment in establishing the Helen Loggie Archives, their volunteer efforts at the Western Gallery and providing a forum in their home for citizens from business, the arts and education to exchange ideas. George also served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Big Rock Garden Sculpture Park from 1993-2001. George became an expert picture framer, framing art he and Martha had collected from Northwest artists and their travels. He played tennis all his life, often winning against players who were much younger than he was. George enjoyed entertaining friends and together he and Martha gave many memorable parties.

George is preceded in death by his parents, his brother John, sister Eva and his wife, Martha. George is survived by his daughter Katharine (Kathi) Knowles and husband Ron Outous, Seattle; son John and wife Joni Knowles; grandson, George Thomas Knowles, all of Colorado; and sister Nina Dunlap, Wenatchee. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews and many friends.

George requested no memorial service, but wanted a Life Celebration to occur later.

The family would like to thank Jean LaValley, RN from the Elder Law Offices of Meyers & Avery, Eduardo Goo, MD and his staff, and Silverado Senior Living for their wonderful help in caring for George.

Memorial donations in Georges name may be made to Health Information Network, P.O. Box 30762, Seattle, WA 98113.

Please see the photo album and sign the guest book, by clicking view memorial and sign guest book.

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8 responses to George A Knowles

  1. Katie James says:

    George was such a sweetheart. I will miss seeing him around. My thoughts go out to you and your family Kathi and I will miss you also.

  2. Denise says:

    What a wonderful couple! I only wish that I could have met them sooner.I’m grateful for the time we had with them.

  3. George was a true gentleman – in every sense of the word! It was our privelege and pleasure to know him and Martha. Please let us know when the Life celebration will occur. Our love and prayers to you!

  4. Phyllis Self says:

    George and Martha, an iconic couple of Bellingham and their era. They were gracious, humorous, interested in others. working with George on the Arts commission was especially gratifying for me. He did much for the arts in our community and many remember his contributions with appreciation.

  5. Your dad was always such a gentleman and gentle man from our very first meeting to our last. His smile and gentle ways would melt my heart and make my day, he always had a smile and a conversation for me. I thank you for the gift of knowing George, my life has been enriched by knowing him and his family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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