Captain Frank William Knowles, Jr. went to be with the Lord on March 14, 2013.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Linda Gail Murfee Knowles, two daughters, Nicole Knowles of Spokane, Washington and Amanda Creal (Matt) of Panama City, Florida, two beloved grandchildren, Kiersten Taylor and Elizabeth Kate Vossen, a sister, Martha Knowles Norville (Payton) of Birmingham, Alabama, a sister-in-law, Patsy Knowles of Panama City and three nephews.
Frank was predeceased in death by his parents, Frank William Knowles and Thelma Sims Knowles Gainer, his stepfather, Guy Reginald Gainer, and a brother, Charles Daniel Knowles of Panama City.
A fourth generation native of Bay County, Frank was born and raised in St. Andrew, and was a 1959 graduate of Bay County High School. After high school, he joined the U. S. Coast Guard, where he served in Alaska and south Florida. Following his military service, he attended Gulf Coast Community College and Florida State University. Frank spent several years running crew boats off-shore out of Louisiana prior to beginning his apprenticeship as a pilot for the Port of Panama City. At the time of his death, Frank was the longest-standing harbor pilot in Florida, having served for 37 years.
He was an active member of the First Baptist Church and a former volunteer in the local prison ministry. Frank was a master of building intricate ship models and decorative knot work. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved spending time with his animals. An enthusiastic Alabama football fan, he also supported local football as a volunteer coach at Bay High and a member of the Bay High Booster Club.
Serving as Pallbearers are Scott Bruce, David Gibson, Chuck Knowles, Russell Knowles, Richard Lawson, and Brandon Waldrip. Honorary Pallbearers include the members of the David Gibson Sunday School Class, Perry Ashe, Doug Cochran, Ricky Frudaker, Jack Fuller, and Robert Lauer.
Funeral services will be held on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. in the Wilson Funeral Home Chapel with interment following at Greenwood Cemetery. The visitation will be held Saturday evening, March 16 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Donations may be made to the Animal Control of Bay County, 6401 Bayline Drive, Panama City, 32404 in honor of Captain Knowles.
Wilson Funeral Home
Family Owned Since 1911
214 Airport Road
Panama City, Fla.
Published in Panama City News Herald on Mar. 16, 2013