A birthdate and death date are important, but it’s the in between, the dash, that is what’s most meaningful.
William Lowe “Bill” Knoll, 97, went to be with his creator Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. He was born May 23, 1923, in Stuttgart graduating from Stuttgart High School and attended one year of Hendrix College studying pre-med. At that time he returned home to run his brother’s laundry before enlisting in the Army. Eventually he advanced to First Lieutenant Air Corp and was trained in Cryptographic Security and stationed in Rome where he met his wife Sandy during the war in 1945.
Bill’s story in his words……
“The first two weeks, I spent time touring the city. At night, I went to the USO and danced with the local girls. I was not impressed with the ones I met. One night I ran into a Captain who was a friend of mine sitting in the lobby with two nice looking girls. He invited me to join them and I reluctantly agreed. One of them was Sandy and we did our best to communicate. We got along so so and then went to the ballroom. One dance and I was hooked.
“We met every day the rest of the time I was in Rome, about six months. When I returned home it was my intention to get a job at the American Embassy in Rome but none were available. We had never discussed marriage but we wrote many letters. An American girlfriend who worked at the Embassy would translate them. I found out I could not live without her and phoned her to come to the USA and be my wife. I met her at the boat in New York City and we were married at The Little Church Around The Corner in 1947.”
Bill and Sandy teamed up on the golf course and played for a nickel a hole and a dime on birdies. If you won a nickel off of them, it was a good day. Bill and Sandy had three perfect children who never did anything wrong-seriously, this was their recollection.
Bill began his career at Riceland Foods as a blending scale operator retiring in 1984 as a group vice president-rice division after 38 years. Bill lived by two quotes: “A good reputation is the hardest to earn and easiest to lose” and “Remember who you are….what you do reflects on your family”.
He was a lifetime member of First United Methodist Church and past Rice Miller Association president. He loved his family, playing golf (seven holes in one), fishing, photography, gardening, dancing, hosting parties and music.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Sandy; parents, Arley and Jessie Knoll; brother, Bobby and wife Janice Knoll; and daughter, Linda Knoll Hunter.
Survivors are a brother, Hugh (Martha) Knoll of Richardson, Texas; two sons, Gary (Kay) Knoll and Steve (Marty) Knoll, all of Stuttgart; son-in-law, David Hunter of Alexander, Ark.; grandchildren, Chandra (Grayson) Daniels of Stuttgart, Sandy Ann (Eric) Miller of Alexander, Drew (Samantha) Knoll of Little Rock, Abby (Adam) Driver of Fayetteville and Alyssa Richards of Stuttgart; and great-grandchildren, Alex Miller, Hudson and Sophia Daniel, Arley Currie and Jack Lloyd.
Visitation will be from 12-1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Turpin Funeral Home with a graveside service, officiated by Harley Petty, at 2 p.m. Lone Tree Cemetery.
Memorial and donations may be made to Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie, 912 E. Fourth St., Stuttgart, Ark. 72160; or the ICCM Food Bank, 120 W. Seventh St., Stuttgart, Ark. 72160.