- Ada, Oklahoma

December 15, 2010


Ada Evening News

Seminole —

SEMINOLE — Memorial services for James Earl “Jim” Knowles, 72, former longtime Seminole resident, are 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at St. Lukes Episcopal Church, Ada. The Right Revs. Dwight Helt, Kenneth Armstrong and John Norvell will officiate .

Mr. Knowles died Dec. 12, 2010, at an Oklahoma City hospital. He was born Feb. 7, 1938, in Seminole to Earl L. and Martha Lucille Sinclair Knowles.

Mr. Knowles attended and graduated from Seminole High School in 1956 and East Central State College in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry/biology. He taught chemistry and biology at Shawnee High School in 1961.  He worked as a chemist for Lilly-Tulip in Missouri and director of quality control for Crown-Zellerback in Oregon and California. Mr. Knowles returned to Seminole in 1977 to assume the operation of the family business. He served on the Seminole City Council from 1982-85 and was mayor of Seminole from 1985 to 1987. He was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church on July 6, 1985. He established the Tri-City Substance Abuse Center in Seminole in 1986. He became a drug/alcohol counselor certified at the state, national and international levels and received Counselor of the Year award in 2007, from the Drug/Alcohol Professional Counselors Association. In 1992, he established a social ministry with the Cheyenne/Arapaho tribes in Watonga serving there until 2007.  He  was a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the Deer Clan where he was given his tribal name of Tuska-A-Neska.

Mr. Knowles was also an inductee to the Seminole High School Hall of Fame. He also started the Seminole Chapter of the Salvation Army. He also started Easter Lint Soup and Sermon at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Seminole, Oklahoma.

Mr. Knowles attended Southwestern State College, School of Pharmacy, in Weatherford and while there owned and operated a restaurant called “ Europia” where he served pizza and steaks.

He married Sharon Sigler in Lone Wolf Oct. 14, 1961.

Survivors include his wife, Sharon Knowles, Ada; a daughter, Heather Knowles, Oklahoma City; a brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Diana Knowles, Seminole; brother-in-law, Guy H. “Buddy” Sigler and his wife Linda, Ardmore; and nephews Jeff, Bill and Greg Knowles and J.J. and Matthew Sigler.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Earl Knowles Christmas Dinner in care of Seminole Rotary Club, or the Whirlwind Mission of the Holy Family; Oakhater Episcopal Center in Watonga, Oklahoma in care of Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, 924 N. Robinson Ave., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Or the American Heart Association.

Messages of condolences may be made online at

Swearingen Funeral Home, Seminole