MANCHESTER - Rance R. Knowles, 67, of Manchester died peacefully with his family at his side, Sunday, May 29, 2005, at his home. \r\r\n\r\r\nHe was born March 22, 1938, in Gardiner, the son of Heron and Mary (Farrington) Knowles. He served three years in the Army, from 1962 to 1965. After his time in the service, Rance worked in many capacities for the town of Manchester. He was fire chief for 38 years as well as a selectman and chairman of the Board of Selectmen. He also worked for a time as code enforcement officer in Manchester and Fayette. \r\r\n\r\r\nMr. Knowles was a lifetime member of The Maine State Federation of Firefighters and a member of The Maine Fire Chiefs Association and the State of Maine Board of Underground Tank Installers, a former member of The Manchester Lions Club and Post 202 of the AMVETS, and a co-founder of the Manchester Festival. He was currently a member of Post 2 American Legion. \r\r\n\r\r\nRance enjoyed his gardens and spending time with his family. He also enjoyed cooking with his grandchildren. \r\r\n\r\r\nMr. Knowles was predeceased by his parents and a daughter, Myra Louise Knowles. \r\r\n\r\r\nHe is survived by his wife, Joanne (Lathe) Knowles; three sons, Warren Knowles and his wife, Linda, of Manchester, Russell Knowles and his wife, Iris, of Manchester and Brent Knowles and his wife, Carolyn, of Winchester, Va.; two brothers, Bryan Knowles and his wife, Sheila, of Manchester and Irving Knowles and his wife, Joan, of Litchfield; a sister, Audrey Irish and her husband, George, of Manchester; eight grandchildren, Darren Knowles and his wife, Heather, Daniel Knowles, Andrew Knowles, Kevin Knowles, Zach Knowles, Mackenzie Carter and her husband, Sam, Hannah Knowles and Sam Knowles; two great-grandchildren, Camren and Emma Knowles; his best buddy, 'Jumbo'; and many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. \r\r\n\r\r\nA graveside service will be held at Manchester Forks Cemetery at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 2. A reception and celebration of his life will follow at the Manchester Lions Club. \r\r\n\r\r\nIn lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The American Lung Association of Maine, 122 State St., Augusta 04330. \r\r\n\r\r\nMr. Knowles' family would like to extend a special thank-you to Health Reach Home Care and Hospice and Dr. James Brassard. \r\r\n\r\r\nArrangements are in the care of Knowlton and Hewins Funeral Home, 1 Church Street, Augusta.