1941 - 2018

Cook Southland Funeral Chapel - Knowles(2018)

Our man Jack, the light of our lives and a bright light in Medicine Hat, hung up his tool belt on Friday, August 3, 2018. Jack passed away peacefully at home in the company of his family, after a courageous battle with colon cancer. Cherishing his memory are his adoring family: Dawn, his wife of 53 years; his two children, Katharine Knowles (Chris Mazurenko) of Vancouver and Tanis Knowles Yarnell (Patrick Yarnell) of Winnipeg; his two grandchildren, Olivia and Eric Yarnell; sister, Maureen (John) Dowler, brother, Len Knowles, brother-in-law Bill (Monique) Pringle, uncle Len (Laurie) Sharland of Medicine Hat and many cousins, nieces and nephews, all who miss him dearly.

Jack was born in Medicine Hat on August 1, 1941 and was very proud of this city. In his personal life, Jack was known as many different things to many people. He was a Queen Scout, pigeon fancier, keeper of 101 dalmatians, king of the disco, photography hobbyist, Medicine Hat history buff, proud Kiwanian and Kinsman, part-time Shriner, possibly a Mason (he kept it a secret), challenger of City Hall, David Suzuki super-fan, professional and personal mentor, promoter of the local Prostate Cancer Support Group, and lover of bagpipes and all things plaid. He had a creative mind and great sense of humour. His practical jokes were legendary. He was a collector of many things, and had over 83 screwdrivers, 55 rolls of electrical tape, 41 staple guns, 27 vintage lightbulbs, and countless friends and neighbours, new and old, all who will miss seeing him around.

He followed in his father’s footsteps becoming a Master Electrician, and took over the family business ‘Knowles Electric’ which he was proud to say was in business for over 80 years. Everyone knew where to find Jack—his shop door was always open. He was never too busy for a friend. His belief in people never wavered, often giving people who needed it advice, support, or a job. He believed in second chances. He had a collection of funny photos and signs posted at his shop and one of them said, ‘Never Give Up’ and he never did. He never gave up on people, projects, the hope that he would beat cancer, and that he would have more time.

Jack spent his last few weeks in his backyard supervising work being done on many projects he always meant to do, even making a tree swing for his grandchildren. Family and close friends celebrated his 77th birthday with him on August 1st at a beautiful backyard party. He died two days later with paint on his hands and a golden tan from hours spent sitting outside, doing jobs, and listening to the birds in his beloved crabapple trees.

The funeral service will take place on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. at Westminster United Church, 101 - 6th Street SE, Medicine Hat. A celebration of Jack’s life will take place immediately following the service at the Carriage House at the Medicine Hat Stampede Grounds, 2055 21st Avenue SE. All are welcome.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Medicine Hat Prostate Cancer Support Group or the David Suzuki Foundation.


  1. admin:
    Aug 08, 2018 at 06:37 PM

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers remain with you on this most difficult of journeys. Love and strength, Kristin

  2. Jamie Ring & Girlfriend:
    Aug 09, 2018 at 04:19 AM

    We are saddened to hear the passing of our beloved friend Jack. We send our deepest condolences to all the family and wish we could be there for the service but due to appointments, will be in Calgary. We hope all goes well though. We send you all our love.

  3. Line Boivin et José Rajotte:
    Aug 09, 2018 at 08:55 AM

    Our thoughts are with you in this time of mourning.

  4. Corrina J Kay:
    Aug 09, 2018 at 10:13 AM

    Jack was such a wonderful man - he would come into my office always with a smile and a laugh in his heart. He luved to talk about anything and make me laugh. I am truly sorry for your loss.

  5. Tony and Pat Didychuk:
    Aug 09, 2018 at 11:17 AM

    Tony and I, along with Roger and Jodi and their families send our deepest condolences on the passing of Jack. We spent many times together when we owned the Chocolate Shop next door to Home Hardware. God Bless you all!

  6. Graham & Pearl Black:
    Aug 09, 2018 at 01:37 PM

    Dear Dawn and Family
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time, May God grant you peace and the wisdom to understand. Sincere sympathy

  7. Pat & David Jamieson:
    Aug 09, 2018 at 01:45 PM

    Dawn, we are so sorry to hear of Jack's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family at this difficult time.
    Pat & David

  8. Richard C. Worden:
    Aug 09, 2018 at 03:36 PM

    Dear Dawn and family;
    I want to express my deepest sympathy on the passing of Jack - a remarkable man. The obituary is one of the finest tributes I have ever read. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  9. Florence Dawson:
    Aug 09, 2018 at 04:34 PM

    Dawn and family; I am so sorry for your loss, it’s not so long ago I travelled this road so I understand just know that he is in a better place. I will be thinking and praying for you.

  10. Jeanie Gartly:
    Aug 09, 2018 at 05:23 PM

    My sincerest condolences Dawn, Katharine and Tanis. I was in the Hat this past weekend when I read of Jack's passing. Mom, dad and I were most sorry and sad to hear of the news. I appreciated reading the special tribute to him and his character today. I smiled as I thought of the many years that I enjoyed tagging along with dad to Hill Hardware and helping with the annual inventory. It was there that I got to know Jack and then as time went on hearing what he was up to and how he was doing when mom and dad ran into him while out shopping and shared with me or my friend who got to know him through his generosity of time with the prostate cancer group. He will be missed dearly by you all and many of us who grew up around him. All my thoughts and prayers during this time. I wish I could be there for the service yet know I will be in thought for you all.

  11. Shirley Kemeys Jones:
    Aug 09, 2018 at 06:34 PM

    Our sincerest condolences on the loss of Jack, a wonderful and unique man.

  12. Emil And Corinne Chow:
    Aug 09, 2018 at 11:13 PM

    We were so sorry to hear this news. Jack was a special person and a great friend to our family . He will be missed. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.

  13. Kirby Doktor:
    Aug 10, 2018 at 08:59 AM

    My sincere condolences go out to you, Dawn and your family. It was a pleasure working with Jack and you, all those many years ago.

  14. Judy Taylor:
    Aug 10, 2018 at 09:45 AM

    Dawn, I am so sorry to hear of Jack’passing. I am out of town at the moment so I will be unable to be at the funeral. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Lots of love Judy xx

  15. Joseph Boivin, Ghislain Boivin & Véronique Otis:
    Aug 10, 2018 at 10:54 AM

    Sincere condolences to Dawn and her family.
    We know that words can't take away your sorrow
    but we hope the concern and caring of everyone around you
    will bring peace and strength for each day ahead.

  16. pat bouman:
    Aug 10, 2018 at 03:36 PM

    Dear Dawn, Katherine, Tanis & Family,
    Saddened to learn your 'dear' husband and father has 'departed. I'm know you have a legacy of wonderful memories to cherish and tresure.
    Sincere condolences
    Pat Bouman

  17. Derek Yarnell:
    Aug 10, 2018 at 04:07 PM

    A lovely tribute to a lovely man. Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories of Jack with us.

  18. Julie Côté:
    Aug 10, 2018 at 05:02 PM

    Dear Dawn, Tanis, Katharine and family. I want to express my deepest sympathy for your loss. I was so sorry to hear the news. My thoughts are with you. I wish I could be there.

  19. Richard Badke:
    Aug 10, 2018 at 06:24 PM

    Sincerest Condolences to you Dawn and your family.
    All of us here at Home Hardware are deeply saddened to here of Jack passing.
    Your 35 years with Home Hardware gives us many fond memories.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  20. Stewart Layland:
    Aug 10, 2018 at 06:44 PM

    Dawn and Tanis and Katherine and Patrick and family—we’re thinking of you and we’re so glad you are all together—so glad you were all together for his final few days.
    Lots of hugs from WPG.
    Love Stewart and Derek

  21. Helen Reid:
    Aug 10, 2018 at 10:15 PM

    so sorry Dawn.
    I am out of town and will be in touch when I return
    Love and prayers
    Helen Reid

  22. Glenda Meloney:
    Aug 10, 2018 at 11:18 PM

    Dawn and family, Thinking of you and sending our heartfelt sympathy. Ryan, Doug and Glenda Meloney.

  23. Barb Moll:
    Aug 10, 2018 at 11:27 PM

    Dawn, Kathy, Tanis and families - I am so very sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you today and always.

  24. John Holub:
    Aug 11, 2018 at 12:49 AM

    Dawn, our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time. Jack truly was one of the Good Guys. Sorry I'm unable to be there on Saturday.


  25. betty stewart:
    Aug 11, 2018 at 08:11 AM

    Jack was a hard worker, a person who dedicated his life to doing things for the community. Being a member of the Gas City Kiwanis Club meant a great deal to him. He was always a happy person, with a wonderful smile! His business was a comfortable place to visit, making everyone feel a home. His family was important to him. I met Jack over 20 yrs ago and am glad to have known him. His heart was in the right place. He will be missed.

  26. John Nelson:
    Aug 11, 2018 at 12:12 PM

    So sorry for your loss. I haven't seen Jack for 50 years but have fond memories of his great sense of humour.

  27. Doug Clements:
    Aug 11, 2018 at 09:52 PM

    My condolences to Jack’s, family and friends.
    I have known Jack for over ten years and found him to be a true gentleman and a valued friend.
    He was always in a great mood, and never failed to have a good joke for you.

    He will be missed, may GOD hold him in the hollow of his hand until we meet again.

  28. Winnie Layland:
    Aug 12, 2018 at 05:30 PM

    Tanis and family
    My deepest sympathy on the loss of your Dad. I know that the pain of losing him will get easier to bear and that soon you will enjoy sharing your happy memories. In the meantime know that your many friends have you in their thoughts and prayers.