Funeral set for children pulled from Central Islip pool

Brother and sister, Ralph Knowles, 5 and Sharon Brother and sister, Ralph Knowles, 5 and Sharon Knowles, 7, died after being pulled from a neighbor's pool April 14, 2013. Photo Credit: Handout

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Funeral services will be held Friday for the two Central Islip siblings who died after being pulled from a neighbor's pool on Sunday.

Viewings for Ralph Knowles, 5, and Sharon Knowles, 7, were held Thursday at Albrecht, Bruno & O'Shea Funeral Home, 62 Carleton Ave., in East Islip.

A 10:30 a.m. service is scheduled for Friday at the funeral parlor, followed by a burial service at Oakwood Cemetery in Bay Shore, said funeral home owner James Bruno.

Bruno said the funeral home has picked up the costs of the service, and neighbors have been collecting donations to put toward the cost of a tombstone for the siblings.

"We felt it was sad enough, based on what happened, that we wanted to take care of everything," Bruno said.

Ralph and Sharon were discovered in a neighbor's pool by Suffolk County police on Sunday, hours after their mother, Tia Knowles, reported them missing from her home on Naples Avenue in Central Islip.

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The neighbor has since been cited by Town of Islip Code Enforcement for an improperly installed fence.

In an interview Monday, the children's mother said she lost her job in the health care industry about three weeks ago and was struggling to pay for the funeral costs.

The Knowles home is owned by Suburban Housing Development & Research Inc., a Bay Shore-based nonprofit that provides housing to homeless families.

Knowles has two other daughters, Annastia, 12, and Roxy, 11.

Neighbors Thursday said they were planning a car wash Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lighthouse Tabernacle Church of God, 1230 Motor Pkwy., in Central Islip, to raise funds for the family.

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