Winfred "Wink" Knowles, 91, of Van Buren was reunited with his heavenly Father on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. He was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Anna Louise "Lou" Knowles.

He was born on Sept. 19, 1922, in Perryville, Ark., to the late Charles Miles and Birdie Elizabeth Knowles. He graduated from Perryville High School in 1941. He was a Navy veteran of World War II. He earned a degree in agriculture from Arkansas Tech University and also attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He retired from OG&E after 33 years as a sales consultant. He was a member of First Baptist Church in Van Buren and previously a member of Eastside Baptist Church in Fort Smith for more than 35 years. He was ordained as a deacon in 1967. He became a 33rd degree Mason of Belle Point Lodge No. 20.

Wink was active in various civic organizations within his community. He was a dedicated member of the Woodmen of the World Fraternal Society, having served as former local president of Lodge No. 9, former Arkansas state president, and on the National Fraternal Committee. He retired from Barling Volunteer Fire Department, was former president of the Barling Lions Club and former president of Arkansas Electrification Council. Wink’s personality allowed him to never meet a stranger and he seemed to know someone most everywhere he went.

He leaves to cherish his memory one son, Charles Knowles; one daughter Diane Burris and husband Delman; one brother Don Knowles and wife Theresa; and one sister Betty Parker , all of Van Buren. His extended family includes six grandchildren, Dan Knowles and wife Billie Jo of Drury, Mo., Shayla Rakestraw and husband Steve of Benton, Ark., Tracey McCullough and husband John of Stilwell, Kan., Dennis Stone of Van Buren, Damon Stone and wife Katie of Cabot, Ark., and Debbie Young and husband Jason of Rye, Ar., along with 17 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Hobert, Cleo and Gordon Knowles, and sister, Beatrice Falls.

Funeral service will be at 1 p.m. on Wednesday at Lewis Funeral Chapel in Fort Smith with interment with military honors at The U.S. National Cemetery in Fort Smith.

The family will receive visitors on Tuesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Lewis Funeral Chapel in Fort Smith.

Pallbearers will be his son, Charles Knowles along with Delman Burris, Dan Knowles, Mike Hurst, Steve Rakestraw, Damon Stone, Dennis Stone and Jason Young.

Arrangements are under the direction of Lewis Funeral Chapel in Fort Smith.

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