Cover photo for Louise Knowles's Obituary
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1920 Louise 2021

Louise Knowles

August 17, 1920 — September 29, 2021

Nashville, TN.

Mrs. Louise C. Knowles age 101, of Nashville, TN passed away peacefully at her home on September 29, 2021.

Louise was born on August 17, 1920 to the late Steve Cavendar and Mollie Titsworth Cavendar in Muskogee, Oklahoma. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband Tommy Knowles and her three sisters, Helen, Hazel and Annabel.

Louise C. Knowles earned her B.S. degree from Northeastern Oklahoma State in 1942, and promptly forged a career as a professional jazz singer, performing under the stage name Pat Barlow.  Concurrently, she studied and received both her M.A. degree in Physical Education and the Education Certificate from George Peabody College for Teachers. Following graduation, she continued a dual career path as a professor and singer in Nashville for three decades, teaching Physical Education at Belmont College and Vanderbilt, and performing in Centennial Park and live on air radio.

While at George Peabody College and Vanderbilt University, Professor Knowles served on a number of committees and councils, including the council on Teacher Education, the Committee on the Education Library, and the Peabody Committee on Curriculum and Educational Programs. She also served as faculty advisor to Alpha Chi Omega. Professor Knowles has been a member of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance as well as that organization's southern district alliance; the National Dance Association; and the American Association of University Professors.

Louise fostered her love of travel during her late career by serving as a delegate to the International Congress of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.  She traveled abroad to Rotterdam, Netherlands, Mexico City, and Leicester, England, and always brought home souvenirs for her family.

In retirement, Louise was a voracious sports fan, attending Vanderbilt football and basketball games weekly with her son Bob.  The two loved eating out at their favorite restaurants together and always saved room for ice cream.  Louise always maintained her “stage presence” and took pride in having an impeccable appearance throughout her long life.  Her favorite song remained A Tisket A Tasket by Ella Fitzgerald.

Survivors include her son, Robert L. McDonald, granddaughters, Courtney Bottoms and husband Tom, Erin Grace and husband Neal Ramus, great-grandchildren Audrey Bottoms and Cooper Ramus.

A celebration of life will be held on November 2, 2021 at 11:00 am with a gathering for family and friends to begin at 10:00 am at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home, 9090 Hwy 100, Nashville, TN 37221.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Louise Knowles, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Harpeth Hills Funeral Home & Cremation Center

9090 TN-100, Nashville, TN 37221

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Harpeth Hills Funeral Home & Cremation Center

9090 TN-100, Nashville, TN 37221

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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