Philanthropist Richard Knowlton dies at age 87

The local philanthropist credited in large part with the restoration of the Holland Theatre has passed away.

Richard “Dick” Knowlton, 87, a former Bellefontaine resident, died Friday at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

He most recently was residing at Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Mr. Knowlton and his wife Peggy are credited with backing the effort to save the Holland Theatre in 1999.

“The restoration of the Holland wouldn’t be happening and at the point it is today if Dick Knowlton hadn’t stepped up and purchased the building in 1999 and 2000 and ultimately paid off the mortgage,” Holland Theatre board president Kris Swisher said.

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