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Dennis "Doc" Knowles

November 19, 1950 ~ July 29, 2018 (age 67)

Dennis Lee Knowles, the “Doctor of Golf”, died on July 29th, 2018 smack dab in the middle of a longwinded and heated argument with cancer.  He was 67 years old.  Born in November of 1950 to Donald and Dorothy Knowles, Doc was whip smart and a charmer.  He loved to love people and rarely met another for whom he couldn’t spare a few words.  Ever the tech guy, he knew life didn’t come with a monitor, a keyboard, and a 2.4MHz cpu.  It didn’t come pre-loaded with an operating system, it didn’t come with instructions, and it never mentioned multiple myeloma.  He knew it was a crap shoot and had he gambled in money instead of miracles he would have had a much shorter but extremely luxurious life.  Doc, however, dealt in miracles.  It was a miracle that introduced him to the love of his wife, Steffie, and not her right-cross, it was a miracle each time one of his sons came into the world, it was a miracle when he went into remission, and different type of miracle when the cancer returned.  Doc’s unexpected life was a wonder.

A computer programmer in his first life, the one before cancer ever moved in and permanently surfed the couch, Doc could code a wastrel into oblivion before lunch.  In the early 2000s if you found a problem with Microsoft's SQL Server based Tax and Asset Data Warehouse it was surely due to Doc having a day off.  He was Steve Jobs with legitimate charisma and absolutely no turtlenecks.  Like Jobs, and nearly everyone in recorded history, Doc charted his own course.  He never did what he was “supposed” to do and he liked it that way.  Instead he was a man who did “the right thing” and he encouraged that responsibility in his sons.  Sometimes doing the right thing was as simple as taking a chance on cooking and serving his family green fried tomatoes straight from his garden to the table.  It was doing his wife’s nails when they were both bone-tired because they went into the city three times that week, for the fourth week in a row, for his treatment.  It was putting pen to paper and letting catharsis take over.  In part, it was probably Freudian. Writing made him think of big, dark, wet, self-loathing, mother loving, Oedipus, Coors-Lite Twins, help-me-I-think-I'm-trapped-in-adjective-hell, reflections of our inner selves.  Like most things it was complicated.  But cancer needs an outlet and every man his muse (even if that muse is a vengeful demon growing inside of him). So maybe it wasn’t Freudian after all. He thought it could have been a cross between Jean Paul Sartre and Homer Simpson. Which come to think of it, can’t be right since without God there wouldn’t be the Coors-Lite Twins or the miracle that is the Cubs (doh!)?

Doc believed God had something in mind for him.  Naturally, he didn’t have a clue as to what that “something” was, and those left behind may never fully know since He doesn’t return calls.  Doc knew God was funny that way.  He could give blessing after blessing, a miracle or two (or in Doc’s case at least three), turn the views of oneself inside out and then… nothing.  No sign, no angel in the mist, no epiphany, no sudden revelation, no phone call, no email… nothing.  Doc was pretty sure God was “sending” but was equally sure he was not “receiving.”  What Doc did send and receive without reservation was love.  It was usually a humorous affection, filled with light whaps to the back of the head and a curse or two, but it had a way of weaving itself in and bolstering those he met.   He loved learning new things (sushi rolls anyone?!), opening his home to those hungry for food and friendship, golfing where he was the master of his domain, advocating for survivorship in all its forms, the intimate enchantment of a Knowles family Christmas, nearly mandatory Sunday family dinners, being a cheerleader for his wife, and the three little words he said often (you know the ones!).  Doc was a good man in a time when it is easy to forget exactly what makes a man good.  He will actively and passionately be missed.

Those who continue to love him are his beautiful wife of 35 years, Steffie; his sons Christopher, Andy, Will, and Joe; his caring daughter-in-law Irene (Will); his faithful dog Divot; his friends at High Cedars Golf Course; Wry Toast Toastmasters; and all those who ever experienced a bit of his magic.

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