William J. Knowles

April 3, 2019 GMT

William “Bill” J. Knowles, 87, of Watertown, passed away on Friday, March 29, 2019, at the Rainbow Hospice Inpatient Center in Johnson Creek.

Bill was born on April 28, 1931, in Easton, Pennsylvania, the son of George and Mabel (Van Holten) Knowles. He served with the U.S. Army from 1953-55. He married the love of his life, Marilyn Richardson, on May 25, 1958, in Fredericksburg, Iowa, and the couple enjoyed 60 years together. Bill worked as a plant engineer at JG Van Holten’s in Waterloo for his entire working career. Bill was proud of the fact that he created a self-propelled pickle picker. He was formerly active with the Waterloo Methodist Church and the Waterloo Historical Society. Bill was also a farmer and grower and was known for his watermelons at Heritage Homes. He had a witty sense of humor and enjoyed a good pun.

Survivors include: wife Marilyn of Watertown; children Mahna (Gary) Grossman of Fort Atkinson, Michael (Sue) of Irmo, South Carolina, Marlys Schmidt of Waterloo and Mark (Trish) of Maryville, Missouri; 11 grandchildren, Ben (Laura), Becky (Matt Alberts), Alex, Hannah (Chris), Krista, Ted (Brianna), Mindy (Andy), Missy, Sara, Jessica and Emily; eight great-grandchildren, Madilyn, Peter, Joseph, Lorelei, Edwin, Vivian, Everett and Etta; brother Robert of Chicago, Illinois; sister Muriel Boyle of Sun Prairie. He is also survived by a number of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, son-in-law Dr. Benjamin Schmidt and brother-in-law Pat Boyle.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday at Christ United Methodist Church with the Rev. Jeffery Meyer presiding. Visitation will be held at the church on Friday from 2 p.m. until the time of the service.

Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Home is caring for the family. To place an online condolence, please visit www.pn-fh.com.

Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Home

213 S. Fifth St. Watertown