David Knowles was a compassionate car enthusiast
HALLSVILLE — To David Knowles, generosity came before business.
At Knowles Wholesale Auto, the business he owned with his wife, Michelle (Graber) Knowles, since 2005, Mr. Knowles knew his customers.
If people, especially those with children, couldn't make payments through the winter, he would let payments slide for a few months, Michelle Knowles said.
During the holidays, he put gift cards in the Christmas cards sent to customers with children so they would have a little extra money to spend.
Mr. Knowles, 46, died Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, after a year-long battle with cancer.
Born Nov. 21, 1965, in Indianapolis to Robert and Barbara (Emerson) Knowles, Mr. Knowles grew up with a father and grandfather who both did auto body work, Michelle Knowles said.
Mr. Knowles' mother died of pneumonia two days after his birth. He had a tight relationship with his two older brothers and half-brother from his father's second marriage.
Mr. Knowles and his wife knew each other throughout childhood; their parents were friends before they were born. Her mom's car lot was across from his dad's body shop.
"I don't ever remember not knowing him," she said.
At 16, Michelle Knowles knew she wanted to marry him. But then she left for college, trained horses and worked on the railroad. When she came home at age 28, she saw Mr. Knowles for the first time in a few years. He pulled out his wallet, and she saw that he still carried her picture in it.
"We were never apart from then on," she said.
They married Feb. 10, 2003.
Mr. Knowles also loved motorcycles and was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Mr. Knowles is survived by his wife, Michelle Knowles; two sons, David Wayne Knowles of Greenfield, Ind., and Colton Scott Knowles of Hallsville; three brothers, Don Knowles and his wife, Michelle, of New River, Ariz., Mike Knowles of Indianapolis and Doug Knowles of Lebanon, Ind.; his father, Robert Knowles, of Indianapolis; and many friends.
Visitation will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to Missouri Cancer Associates, 1705 E. Broadway #100, Columbia, MO 65201-7167.
Tributes can be posted at Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery's website.