William ‘Bill’ Knowles

William ‘Bill’ Knowles

April 21, 1938 ~ April 28, 2022


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William (Bill) Phillips Knowles, 84, passed away Thursday, April 28, 2022 in Vero Beach, FL. He was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, son of George Bourne Knowles, Jr. and Edith (Phillips) Knowles. Out of his childhood grew a lifelong love of the ocean as he spent time sailing Beetle Cats and Herreshoff 12 1/2s in Ontario and New England.

Bill graduated from Dublin School in Dublin, NH and Boston University with a B.S. in Business Administration.  He was also a military veteran, having served 4 years in the U.S. Air Force. Beginning in 1966, Bill worked at Bethlehem Steel Corp. in both Lackawanna, NY and Johnstown, PA. He later served as director of operations at the Herreshoff Museum, which includes the America’s Cup Hall of Fame in Bristol, Rhode Island. Along with his wife, Linda, Bill spent 15 of his retirement years living on their sailboat, Sapphire, cruising from the Northeast to the British Virgin Islands each year. Together they co-founded the Salty Dawg Rally in 2011. What began as a single rally to the Caribbean with a small group of sailors grew to become Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA), one of the premier sailing organizations in the world with over 800 members and many events each year. In recognition of his contributions to the Salty Dawg Sailing Association as a Founder and President, Bill was awarded the honorary title of President Emeritus.

Bill is survived by children Erika (Michael) Schultz, Russell Knowles, and Alexander (Susan) Knowles; and stepchildren Jeneen Masih, Daniel Graovac, Kevin (Diane) Graovac. Bill also leaves behind grandchildren Tyler, Alyson, and Lyndsie Schultz; Danae, Alexander II (Mikaela), Abigail, and William Knowles; Beatrice and Katherine Masih; Jack and Lucie Graovac; and one great-grandchild Maya Knowles. He is also survived by siblings Bourne Knowles and Elizabeth Ladd, and many nieces and nephews.

Bill was predeceased by his wife, Linda Marie (Barrett) Knowles.

Memorial Service Information (TBD) will be available here.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) at www.saltydawgsailing.org/donations

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, Vero Beach.


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Cathy and Dan Schultz - Friend

May 10, 2022, 9:20 am

So very sorry for your family’s loss. God bless you.❤️❤️❤️

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