Col Richard K. Knowles 1940 – 2021

Richard K. Knowles, Colonel, USAF Retired, went to be with the Lord on the morning of April 8, 2021. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Doreen Carter Knowles; one daughter, Karen Kai Lee Knowles Pappas (Michael) of Richmond, VA; two sons, Richard Carter Knowles of Wilmington, NC and Kenneth Davis Knowles (Kathy) of Roswell, GA; and seven grandchildren, Grey, Jack, Noah, Cami, Kent, Jane and Henry. He is also survived by one brother, Frank Joseph Knowles, III (Penny) of Mina, AR; two sisters, Merylee Phaup, of Richmond, VA and Wendy Horner (Dave) of Norfolk, VA; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank Joseph and Olive Davis Knowles.

Richard "Dick" was born in Norfolk, VA on March 22, 1940 and was a graduate of Granby High School. He was a lifelong advocate of education and earned a BS in History; three Master Degrees (Divinity, Christian Education, Psychology); and a Doctor of Ministry. After earning his Master of Divinity at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA, Dick joined the Air Force as a Chaplain where he served for 28 years. During this time, he delivered inspirational sermons, counseled our armed service men and women, and officiated countless wedding ceremonies including those of his children. One of his greatest joys was being Paw Paw to his grandchildren. They loved him for his vivid, action-packed stories and well-planned adventures-gifts they will never forget. His final assignment in the Air Force was as Command Chaplain, USAF Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, FL. He received many military awards throughout his career including the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.

A traveler of the world, Dick endowed upon those who knew him a sense of wonder and gratitude-encouraging through his actions a capacity to love and the ability to endure. He now rests in the presence of the Lord whom he so devotedly served. A Celebration of Life Service will be held later this year at KirkWood Presbyterian Church, Yorktown, VA. The family wishes to express appreciation to the dedicated staffs at The Gardens at Beth Sholom, Sitter and Barfoot Veterans Care Center, McGuire VA Medical Center and McGuire Hospice for their kind and compassionate care. Memorial contributions may be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation, www.michaeljfox.org.


Published by Daily Press on Apr. 18, 2021.

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