Don Knolles of Sheshequin, PA, Father, Grandfather, Friend, Farmer, and Marine passed September 27, 2020 at the Skilled Nursing Unit of Towanda Memorial Hospital. Don was a well-known personality in the Farming Community, working for the Nelson Welles Farm and over 40 years as part of the Perry Maple Front Farm Team.
Don was born on June 20, 1926 to Harry F. and Ruth Abrams Knolles and raised on the family farm in Wilmot Twp., Wyalusing, PA. He would often tell tales of raising draft teams and hunting bears and deer in the woods of his childhood. Back in his teen age years, he took to the road working in a corporate dairy in NJ and driving freight cross country. His career changed with the outbreak of WWII.
Don served with the 2nd US Marine Division. He would tell stories of the Battle of Okinawa and Saipan, surviving a kamikaze attack, and being with the first Americans to enter Nagasaki after the atomic bomb. He was eternally proud of his time wearing the uniform of the USMC. He would tell of trying to re-enlist for the Korean War, but he was turned down due to the loss of a finger in a sawmill accident. He used to joke he could shoot with another finger.
When Don returned home to the family farm, he married his wife Dorothy Saxe of 63 years. His love of heavy equipment and new country took him and his young family to the Canadian Border, where he worked for 5 years on the St. Lawrence Seaway Project. He spent his free time fishing, hunting, and working on the Simmons Farm in Ogdensburg, NY. Don was never one to sit around.
When Don returned home to Bradford County, he would not leave again. He was a fixture in the Ulster-Sheshequin Community. He was a grandfather figure to many young people who grew up on and around the Perry Farm and on the Sheshequin Road. He loved to have the house full of kids and family every Sunday for many years. His love of outdoor activities was shared with all who knew him.
Don is remembered by his children and grandchildren for his kind manner, love of reading (every Louis Lamour book ever printed) and work ethic. If you spent the day with Gramma and Grandpa, you had better plan on working, but we loved every minute of it. The time spent on the farm shaped many young peoples lives. Never more at home than when hunting or trapping, Don still got a glint in his eye to the end when someone would mention the upcoming deer season.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife Dorothy in 2010, son Martin in 2004, infant son Donald and infant daughter Faye, son-in-law Jim Jones and brothers Lloyd and Harry E. Knolles, sister Charlotte Malik and close friend Roland Perry.
He is survived by his sons Daniel “Pete” (Kathy) Knolles, Clyde (Monica) Knolles, daughters Kay (Bill) Green and Ruth Jones, his grandsons Donald, Eric, Mark Christopher, Earon, Jeff and David Knolles, Todd Green and Jason Jones, granddaughters Lisa Green-Preston, Nicole Secules, Michelle Gordon, Julie DeLill, Tauyna Rosenbloom and Elizabeth Jones, and several great and great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by the Perry family, a close friend, Nelson Welles, and brother-n-law John Malik.
Services will be announced at a later date. The family is being assisted by Lowery-Urban Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., Athens, PA.
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