Lewis Denver Knowles, Sr.
Lewis Denver Knowles, Sr.
September 20, 1916 - July 28, 2012
Lewis Denver Knowles, Sr., age 95, of Nederland, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, July 28, 2012.
Denver was born September 20, 1916, in Monument, New Mexico, to Winford and Madelene Trowbridge Knowles, the first of three sons. He was two years old when his family moved to Beaumont, Texas. Denver attended South Park High School and graduated in 1933 as Valedictorian. He continued his education at Lamar Junior College graduating in 1935 with a Business Major. Denver later received a Certificate in Accounting from the American Academy of Accounting.
He was employed with the Warren Refrigerator Co. in Beaumont for thirty-three years, becoming Secretary-Treasurer Finance Officer before retiring in 1972.
During World War II, Denver proudly served his country for thirty-three months in the United States Army, 759th Engineer Parts Supply Company. Thirty of those months were in the South Pacific Theater of Operations on the Island of New Guinea, and later on Luzon Island in the Philippines. After being honorably discharged in 1946, he returned to Beaumont.
He met Gwendolyn Wynn in 1946, and knew instantly that she was to be his lifelong mate. They began their sixty-three years of wonderful marriage on September 18, 1948. They built their first home in Nederland in 1949, and began raising their son and daughter. It was only in July 2011 that they moved to Collier Park in Beaumont.
They were members of First United Methodist Church of Nederland. While living at Toledo Bend during their retirement years, they also became associated with the Oak Hill Baptist Church near Six Mile.
During his 95 years, Denver achieved many awards and served his community on Nederland City Council from 1952-1954, he received the “Outstanding Citizen Award”. Denver helped organize the first Nederland Little League Baseball, was Treasurer/Board of Directors of the Nederland Heritage Festival, Audit Committee Chairman for Nederland Chamber of Commerce for ten years and the United Way, Board of Directors of B. A. Ritter Senior Citizens Foundation, Board of Directors of Jefferson County Water District #10, member of Beaumont Optimist, Beaumont Rotary Club, and Nederland Lions Club.
He became interested in scouting, through his younger brother, Jay. In 1937, he became an adult leader and continued to support the scouting program as an enthusiastic volunteer and mentor for many years. Denver was associated with Cub Pack 53, Troop 53, and High Adventure Post 53 in Nederland, and the Order of the Arrow organization. He enjoyed many years of hiking, canoeing, and rafting the many trails and rivers of this great land. One of his outstanding accomplishments was to hike and camp the trails of Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico twenty-two times. On his 1988 trek, while accompanied by his son, Chip and grandson, Matt, to celebrate Philmont’s 50th Anniversary year, he was recognized as Philmont’s Most Senior of All Campers for his multiple trips and support of Philmont. Denver was awarded the District Award of Merit for service in the Pilot District of Three Rivers Council, BSA, in 1978. He was awarded and recognized as a Silver Beaver in 1973. Denver was made Vigil Honor in 1970 for his work in the Order of the Arrow. His final recognition for his many years of service was to have the new OA Lodge at Camp Urland named in his honor.
Not being one suited for retirement, he joined the former Nederland State Bank in 1976 as vice-president of Publications and Advertising. Later in 1980, he joined Gwen as they became owners of Value Carpet Shoppe in Port Neches. In 1995, Denver and Gwen retired together from business so as to be able to pursue a life of ease and travel.
In 1972, Denver became a partner in MM & K land development on Toledo Bend Lake. He and his wife, Gwen, built a beautiful lake home where they spent many years with their family and many friends. His greatest love was to construct a fire and to have it continuously burn, even during a rain storm. He also enjoyed many a mornings drinking coffee on Ernie’s porch with his buddies at the lake. Denver will always be remembered for the love, care, and devotion he provided as a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, mentor, and friend.
He is survived by his wife of sixty-three years, Gwen; son, L. Denver “Chip” Knowles, Jr. and his wife, Donna, of Friendswood, Texas; daughter, Rebecca D. Knowles and John Snyder of Hines, Minnesota; grandsons, Matt and his wife, Angela; and Chris, all of Nederland; Nathan and Jordan of San Antonio; and great-grandchildren, Ashton and Austin of Nederland. He is also survived by his brother, Ruben Knowles of Lubbock; many cousins, nephews and nieces; and his buddies at the Tuesday lunch bunch.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Jay Knowles.
A gathering of Mr. Knowles’ family and friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, August 1, 2012, at Broussard’s, 505 12th Street, Nederland. His funeral service will be 10:00 a.m., Thursday, August 2, 2012, at Broussard’s, with interment to follow at Oak Bluff Memorial Park, Port Neches.
Memorial contributions may be made to Three Rivers Council Boy Scouts of America, 4650 Cardinal Drive, Beaumont, Texas 77705; First United Methodist Church of Nederland, 104 North 13th Street, Nederland, Texas 77627; or B. A. Ritter Senior Citizen’s Center, 914 Boston Avenue, Nederland, Texas 77627.