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Roy Vernon Knowles (known also as 'Tiny'), passed away peacefully on April 19, 2013 at home in Deland where he lived since 1990. He was 93 years old, born in Owensville, Indiana to Oscar Gilbert, and Elizabeth Knowles, who moved several times before settling in Leesburg, and then to Deland with his sister and brother, Annabelle, and John, (Jack). After graduation from Deland High School, he attended Duke University, then the University of Florida before enlisting in the US Army in 1942 where he served in the European Theater until 1946. When he returned to Florida in 1946, he passionately pursued, then married an English girl, Francesca Mary Chisolm, who he'd met at a Bishop's Tea at Oxford while he was a soldier and she was an undergraduate student. The two lived in Eustis for forty years, had five children, Robert Harvey (Robin), Mary Elizabeth (Twig), Mark Vernon, Francesca Ann (Cesca), and Catherine Deborah. All his children survive him. At 62 he retired from Golden Gem Citrus where he'd worked for 32 years. He was a Vice President there. Few knew him as Roy. Most knew him as 'Tiny' or 'Poppa'. His two passions were sailing one-design sailboats on Lake Eustis, and fishing. There was always fishing. He was an ardent supporter of the Eustis Sailing Club and sailed competitively until after his 80th birthday. For the last few months, he was physically unable to 'go fishing', yet he bought and outfitted a fishing boat at age 92. Poppa is survived by five children, ten grandchildren, and fifteen great- grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother and sister, all his uncles and aunts, his wife Francesca, who passed away in 1989 and a second wife Hazel who passed away in 2005. By his own account, he lived a wonderful life in an excellent time and had few regrets. He had no known ailments other than old-age and occasional bout of pickiness over issues of grammar or word usage. He was competitive in all things, particularly when besting his children or grandchildren at cards, which he did frequently. At his wish, he will be cremated. There will be a brief memorial service at Allen Summerhill Funeral Home in Deland (386-734-4663) at 11:00 on Saturday, April 27, 2013. Family and friends are invited to visit briefly at Roy's home in Deland afterwards. A donation to favorite charities is preferred to flowers.
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Apr. 23, 2013