Robert G. Knowles(1927 - 2014)

Robert G. Knowles of West Hartford, formerly of Litchfield, CT, died on 1 February 2014 under hospice care in Hartford Hospital's Palliative Care Unit. Born August 2, 1927 in Chicago to Philip and Blanche Knowles, Bob moved to Worcester and then Wilton, CT. He graduated from Staples High School in 1946. After serving a short time in the Army he graduated from Kings Point, the Merchant Marine Academy, in 1951. He was a member of the rifle and pistol team and won several awards. He was also on the sailing team. During the Korean War he served in the Merchant Marine as an engineer on ships delivering ammunition to Japan and Korea. Ever since then he sought out the engine room of any ship he boarded. He and Grace Elizabeth Corsa, whom he had known since Wilton grammar school, were married in 1953 in the Wilton Congregational Church. They would have celebrated their 61st anniversary February 28th. Bob worked as a mechanical engineer and was awarded the Charles B. Thornton Award for one of his several patents, which resulted in the most successful product for Litton Industries that year. He never left his problem solving at the office. He always had paper and pencil at hand to sketch out a project in wood or a way to repair something. He also knew how to have fun. He would join in family singing in the car, taught his brood to ski, and was known to laugh so hard he would have to pull off the road before he drove off it. He never lost his unique sense of humor. Bob and Betty loved Hawaii where they enjoyed sharing their condo with friends and family. He was grateful that Betty insisted on trips to Europe, Japan, China, Alaska and beyond. He loved sailing, skiing, golf, and helping his family with home repairs that the faint of heart would not have tackled. Mention a problem and he was there with a solution and the tools to carry it out. Bob worked on the building committee of every Congregational church he belonged to-Wilton, Litchfield, Hartford, and West Hartford. He didn't just sit and talk about projects, he was up on ladders, drawing plans, and talking to contractors. He worked on Habitat projects into his 80s. Bob passed on his values of integrity, honesty hard work, and love of family to his daughters and grandchildren. He is survived by his wife, Betty, daughters Cynthia Maciel Knowles, her husband Paul Lizotte, Wanda Knowles, her wife Paula Ciampa, and Wendy Benson and her husband Robert Benson as well as grandchildren Josh Maciel and his wife Seiko, Rebecca Maciel and her fiancé Greg Carter, and Zo¿ and Olivia Benson. He is also survived by his niece, Marcia Nordstrom and nephew Bruce Luria and their families. His sister, Jacqueline, predeceased him. A memorial service will be held at First Church of Christ Congregational in West Hartford Center at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 8, 2014. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the music program at First Church of Christ Congregational, 12 South Main St., West Hartford, CT 06107 in honor of Bob Knowles' love of music and singing in the choir or the Palliative Medicine Consult Service, HH Fund Development, 80 Seymour Street, Hartford, CT 06102. For directions and online condolences, please visit

Funeral Home

Taylor & Modeen Funeral Home
136 South Main Street West Hartford, CT 06107

Published in The Hartford Courant on Feb. 4, 2014