Fay Knowles

Knowles, Fay Rosemary Bailey Resident of Olympia Fields, IL; Valparaiso, IN; and Sister Bay, WI. Beloved wife of Thomas W. Knowles; devoted mother of Jennifer Lynn Dziekan and the late Julie Bailey Knowles; cherished grandmother of PJ, Julia Faith, Reagan Thomas, Sophia, and Sullivan Dziekan. Fay was the loving sister to Jeff and Ted and the beloved half of the "Goofball Sisters" with Debbie. She taught Social Studies for many years at the Huth Upper Grade Center in Matteson- 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. She was particularly proud of her students' successes when she coached the Track team (boys and girls) and the Social Studies Bowl. She was a loving, but tough teacher. She never raised her voice, but had a teacher's look that would make students want to please her. She had a phenomenal memory. Although teaching 120+ students each year, she could encounter a former student many years later and remember their name, where they sat in class, and who their friends were. Before Jenny was born, she taught English and History at Bloom Township High School in Chicago Heights. She was a graduate of Purdue University and a member of Phi Mu Sorority. She was a leader on campus and said that she "majored in activities". Many of her friends from grade school and Morgan Park High School went to Purdue with her. Her friends from her youth remained close friends. A very sweet and caring person, Fay made friends for life. She was always asking her friends about themselves, not telling of her extensive accomplishments. Because of the warm person she was, her friends always looked out for her. She had a lifelong interest in sports, particularly track and field. She was a sprinter and the second fastest in Chicago for her grade group. She high jumped until she realized that the bar was over her head. She and the neighborhood kids would race from one side street to the next, jumping over the fences separating the house lots. She loved the Bears and Cubs. College football was her favorite, particularly Purdue. She drove the male PE teachers crazy because she won the football pools much more than they did. She was very active in the community, politics and church. She served in many leadership capacities in the Rich Township Republican Women's Club. She was the first woman elected as President of The Rich Township Republican organization. She served many leadership roles in government and politics. Fay was particularly fond of Barbara and Laura, wives of Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Among her many community activities, she was newsletter editor for The Compassionate Friends, a support group for bereaved parents. She was active in her church, Bethel Evangelical Covenant Church, serving on the church board and as head of Christian Education. She loved to travel. Anywhere she was with her husband was home. Two extended trips to the United Kingdom were a highlight. Within five years of her retirement, she had slept in 45 different states. Fay and Tom were married for 47 years. Their devotion to one another was unparalleled. She thought he hung the moon, and he was truly her knight in shining armor. Their daughter Jenny lit up their lives. Fay's favorite destination was always to visit her grandchildren; she was with every grandchild in the hospital when they were born. She nurtured each child's talents and they adored their Geega. The world is a much colder place without her; we miss her already. Visitation Monday 4-8 p.m. with Funeral Service Tuesday 10:30a.m. at Hirsch West End Chapel 3501 West Lincoln Highway, Matteson, IL. Interment is private. In lieu of flowers, please consider making contributions to the Salvation Army in Fay's name. For information or to express your thoughts or memories in the online guest book, 708-748-3800 or www.hirschfuneralhome.com.

Funeral Home

Hirsch West End Funeral Home
3501 W Lincoln Hwy Matteson, IL 60443
(708) 748-3800

Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Sept. 28, 2013