In Memory of

Wesley W. Knowles

December 11, 1942 - December 4, 2018


Wesley Walter Knowles, 75, of Lee’s Summit, passed away peacefully, on December 4, 2018.  A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 o’clock, Saturday December 8th, at Langsford Funeral Home, in Lee’s Summit.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Wayside Waifs or Furry Kids’ Refuge; both are beloved animal welfare organizations which Wes supported.

Wes was born and raised in Appleton City, Missouri, the middle of 5 kids.  He always had a love of music, and that love took him to Warrensburg, to attend CMSU, where he studied music.  Wes worked in the music industry all of his life, with a few meaningful detours along the way, but the one constant in his life was music.  Although he played the bass, through his career with School Music Service and volunteering with Lee’s Summit Music Parents and Lee’s Summit Symphony, he also promoted this love and passion for all instruments and all music for future generations.

He was a character; being both profound and profane, Wes lived to make people laugh.  He knew more jokes than anyone and his timing was always flawless. Everyone who knew him will remember him as a mischievous storyteller with a quick sense of humor, always ready with a joke or a story to make you smile.  He forever loved bringing a smile or a laugh to those near to him. He also loved dogs, Kansas City sports, cars, crossword puzzles, movies and ice cream with fresh strawberries; he loved these things almost as much as he loved his friends and family.

Wes is survived by his daughter, Kari Knowles and her husband Greg Henry; his stepson Nathan Wilson and his wife Lina and their daughter, Toni; his stepdaughter Lindsey and her daughter Lilly, who followed in his musical footsteps; his sister-in-law, Linda Knowles; brothers, Jay Knowles and his wife and Franklin Knowles; sister, Susan Evans and her husband; many nephews and nieces and more friends than can be imagined.  Wes was loved by many.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Diane Knowles; his brother, McColley Knowles; and his parents, Mary (Mac) and Russel Knowles.

The family would like to thank One Community Hospice and Home Instead for their kind and amazing care.  Without them, the laughter would have ended much sooner.


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He was a school mate, bassist, and good friend. I will miss him. Condolences to the family.

Wes was first and foremost a great Dad. He was a good friend, best joke teller, and great bass player, solid as they come. Kari, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Rest in eternal peace woodeye. You will be missed.

My first association with Wesley was alphabetical seating in Study Hall my Freshmen year at ACHS, he was a Senior. I was in trouble often, when he’d say something and the teacher caught me responding. He had a way with words?!?!
Our paths crossed many time afterwards, especially when my good friend Linda married his brother. His music talent helped me locate a band for the AC Quasquicentennial. Recently, he called for an entire evening and we chatted about Main Street History. I know his life had been a struggle recently, but he was coping.
We will miss his Knowles ways. Thinking of all of you.

Dear Kari
We are so sorry to hear about your dad. Every time I think of him I remember the messages he used to put on your answering machine. My favorite was the one where you couldn’t answer the phone because you were all out in the back yard turning the compost heap. Then there was the picture of Butt family!
He will be very fondly remembered.

I was also a classmate of Wes’s. Always a story and a joke to tell. So glad I got to see him recently at a birthday party for another classmate Ron Clark. We, in the music department were a close bunch of friends and life long friends. He will be missed. My sympathy to his family.

What a wonderful, thoughtful and funny friend Wes was. It says something about his character that he retained so many friends for such a long time. We met in college and I’m glad to say we remained friends all these years. He never failed to make me laugh and I cherish all those fun and funny times with him.

What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful friend and colleague! I will miss his humor that always made me laugh and our music conversations at lunch and get-togethers.

Wes and I have been close friends since we entered college together in 1960. We shared many, many good times. I will miss Wes for so many reasons besides his funny jokes and endless stories. Mostly, I will miss his friendship. Wes was a jewel and a one of a kind type of guy. I doubt if the Lord will make many other people like Wes. May he Rest In Peace and no longer have to work hard getting air to breathe. God bless

Dear Family,
Sorry to learn of Wesley’s passing! My husband, John Doubleday, also a musician , goes way back with Wes to the old
Independence Wes Cole Music Stores! Many years of sharing great times!
Rest in Peace, Buddy

Wes and I started 1st grade together. He was funny even back and ornery-er than pudge! We remained good friends ever since. His friendship was priceless to me. My dog even loved him. I will miss him dearly. A total jewel as a friend! Priceless! Go for it WES! I’ll catch up with ya later. Miss ya already!

With such sadness I am learning of my dear friend Wes passing. Having been friends since 1958 we would go long periods of time
without a word but could catch up in an instant over a phone call.
My sincerest sympathy Kari and family for your loss of my dear friend. I know he will have a band or ensemble playing music in heaven soon for all to enjoy his many talents.

I only knew Wes a short time at School Music Service all I can say is what a great guy he will be missed by many RIP Wes

We are so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. Katie also wanted me to extend her condolences. Your dad, School Music (and mom, too) were a big part of Katie’s life growing up.

As volunteers with One Good Meal, Pat and I were able to deliver food to your dad and visit with him. He always had a joke or sly comment.

We will pray for you and your family at this difficult time.

Cindy and Pat Pepple

I want to say i apologize for this being late but we just learned of Wes’s passing just yesterday. Wes’s was a coworker of mine at the Internal Revenue Service before he quit smoking we would always be out on break he would tell one of his stories and always make us laugh. He has been missed since he left the service but he would admit it wasn’t for him. I deeply am sorry for your loss and the loss of a dear friend forever missed.

I want to express my deepest condolence to the family of Wesley Knowles. I met Wesley at IRS in 2007 and we had an instead friendship. Wesley was funny and witty and most loving & kind. During our talks we discovered we had more in common that just the IRS because my dad(Adolph Roulette) also was a musician and Wesley had played with him numerous times. Wesley also had attended CMSU at the same time my brother had attended. So our mutual love and respect for each other had just doubled. Wesley was indeed a great story teller and was ALWAYS able to make me smile. He appreciated life and loved people. I miss him here at work and I know he will be greatly missed. Rest peacefully Wesley aka Music Man.

We enjoyed Wes so much when we were at CMSU together. His humorous view of life gave us lots of chuckles, especially his comments about earning a living as a musician.
Our condolences. Wes was one of our favorite college friends.

OMG – just found out Wes left us. He was my mentor, my idol – had great strength and calluses on his left hand and calluses on his ‘plucking fingers’. The temporary ‘bag man’ showed great strength through his travails and, yes, had a great of sense of humor. Sure wish I would have reached out to him in October when I was reminiscing with others about our days at CMSC. I am so sad but really happy I knew him and heard him play. My memories of him will remain. Jeff Elsea, Weston.


Langsford Funeral Home
115 SW 3rd St
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063


Saturday, December 8, 2018
Langsford Funeral Home
115 SW 3rd St
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063