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Robert E. Knutson

Robert E. Knutson

Detroit Lakes and Mesa, Ariz

Robert Ellsworth Knutson, 86, of Detroit Lakes and Mesa, Ariz., passed away Monday, December 3, 2012 at Hospice of Arizona in Mesa.

Bob was born to John A. and Elizabeth (Metraus) Knutson on April 3, 1926 in Albert Lea, Minn. The family moved to Pine River, Minn., in 1928. During World War II Bob served in the U.S. Navy aboard the light cruiser, USS Honolulu, and the yard sweeper, USS YMS-371.

Bob married his sweetheart, Vivian Leseman, June 1, 1947 at the First Lutheran Church in Pine River. He attended Bemidji State College for two years, where he studied music.

Bob worked most notably as a manager at several Red Owl stores in Minnesota and Wisconsin as an owner/manager at Buy-Rite, Inc. in Detroit Lakes, and as a manager for F.C. Hayer Appliance Co. in Bismarck, N.D.

Bob enjoyed fishing and was an avid car enthusiast. He sang his first solo at the age of 10 and continued to fulfill this love of music for 73 more years. He was a Shriner and was active in many other service organizations.

Bob had a special love for Christmas that manifested itself in his enthusiasm and excitement for decorating both the inside and the outside of their home.

Bob will be greatly missed and is lovingly survived by his wife of 65 years, Vivian Knutson; children, Cindy (Scott) Crain of Captain Cook, Hawaii and Jim (Deb) of Callaway; sister: Marie Smith of Pine River; grandchildren, Kristofer (Su) of Moorhead and Nathan of Fort Myers, Fla.; nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were his parents; two brothers, Merrill Knutson and John F. Knutson; and sister, Almira Rhoades.

Bob was a lifelong learner. In his 80s he took an interest in beekeeping and was active in harvesting honey each fall. Bob was also a talented artist and woodworker; he enjoyed taking on new projects up until his illness.

Services were held Friday, Dec. 7, at Silver Ridge in Mesa, and will be held in the spring at First Lutheran Church, Detroit Lakes.