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Remembering the Life of

Tom Rye Knowles, Jr.

August 19, 1942 - May 5, 2023

Tom Rye Knowles, Jr. of Cowan, TN, born August 19, 1942, passed away May 5, 2023. His death follows a battle with leukemia and was just how he wanted -- quick and peaceful, with no pain. He will be remembered as a musician, model railroader, NC&StL historian, avid collector of antique gas engines, car buff, artist, mentor and more -- a true Renaissance Man. In his own words:


“Above all I wish for peace and tranquility, especially in my family and the practice of that starts at home. Note that you do not have to be blood of my blood/ bone of my bone to be family.


Do not grieve (much!) for me. I have had a wonderful, and interesting life, longer at this point than I thought when younger.


If there is a wake for me, celebrate how much I loved the companionship and love shown by so many, though I may have been outwardly sort of a “loner”. I hope you remember me as having been a positive influence in your life. Think of me once in a while as the event of my passing fades.


Brief and to the point, “So long, and see many of you later!”.”


Tom is survived by his wife Maryann Knowles, daughter Debi & Paul Borowski, granddaughter Tiffany Knowles, sister Cathy Carter and numerous other family members.


A Celebration of his life (including jam session) will be held Saturday, June 3 starting at 6:00 pm at the Cowan Center for the Arts.


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Nashville Steam (, since Tom’s dream was to have 576 running again.


Moore-Cortner Funeral Home 300 1st Ave NW, Winchester, TN 37398, (931)967-2222,

The Portrait of
Tom's Life

"Wherever a beautiful soul has been there is a trail of beautiful memories."

- Ronald Reagan

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The Memory Wall

Don Davis

Tom was a dear friend and I too had hoped he would be able to see 576 run again, he will be missed. Don Davis, New Market, Alabama

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