Norman D. Knutson, age 88, was welcomed home into the loving arms of his Savior Jesus Christ on May 25, 2023, after a courageous battle with Lewy Body Dementia.
Norman was born in Colfax, Wisconsin, to Alfred and Hilda Knutson on August 12, 1934, and graduated from Colfax High School in 1952. Shortly after graduation, he joined the Army and was proud to serve his country while stationed in Germany and France. Norman was one of the first students to graduate from the Eau Claire Institute of Technology and continued with additional studies to become a Certified Public Accountant. On December 27, 1958, Norman married the love of his life, Coryne Barstad, in Eau Claire, and they celebrated 64 years of marriage. They enjoyed taking road trips throughout the years, especially after retirement, including an extended dream vacation to Alaska. Together they raised three children – Todd, Amy and Heidi.
An outdoorsman to the core, Norman loved to spend time “up north” and preferred taking the backroads whenever possible. He loved hunting and fishing trips with Todd, his brothers, and friends. He experienced much joy working outdoors or putzing and tinkering in his garage. The family cabin on the Minong flowage was a frequent summer vacation spot, and in later years, a more rustic hunting cabin near Dairyland, Wisconsin, became his destination of choice. Known as the “Wildernest”, Knutson family reunions were often hosted there, and this is where he introduced his grandchildren to his love of the land along with family hikes, hayrides, campfires, and games. Over his lifetime, Norman planted thousands of trees on his land, always working to improve the wildlife habitat there. He also loved spending time on the water, especially taking his family out for long pontoon rides and canoeing.
Norman was an honorable man, and he was respected by all who knew him. His faith was very important to him, and he was a long-time member of Colfax Lutheran Church. Known for his ready smile, storytelling, personal letter writing, and willingness to help others, he will be deeply missed by his family and friends.
Norman is survived by his wife Coryne, son Todd (Nancy), and daughters Amy Bogan (Craig) and Heidi Gunderson (Trevor), as well as seven grandchildren: Derek (Nikky), Alex, Abby (Jared), Kaitlyn (Clif), Emma (Micah), Chloe, Sophie, and four great grandchildren: Madeleina, Atlas, Jovianna, and Cambrea. He is also survived by eight siblings: Betty Dodge, Russell Knutson (Ann), Darline Thompson (Jim), David “Buck” Knutson (Mary), Rich Knutson (Becky), Carol Boyd (Michael), Larry Knutson (Karen) and Nancy (Jim Arnold); and brothers-in-law Gust Fehr and John Barstad. Norman had a large extended family and is survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his infant daughter Kristen Kay, parents Alfred and Hilda Knutson, in-laws Clifford and Gladys Barstad, sisters Arla Valdovinos, Donna Fehr and Anna Dyrdal, brothers-in-law Rodrigo Valdovinos, Byron Dodge, Donovan Dyrdal, Ronald Finley, Dr. Emil Schulz, Leland “Tip” Hoyt, and James Johnson, sisters-in-law Joan Johnson, Mary Hoyt, Connie Schulz and Carolyn Barstad.
A memorial service for Norman will be held on Thursday, June 1, 2023 at Colfax Lutheran Church in Colfax, Wisconsin, at 12 noon with a dinner served afterward in the church fellowship hall. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at Sampson Funeral Home, Colfax, and 11 am at the church on June 1. A private family interment will be held at a later date at the Northern Wisconsin Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery, Spooner, Wisconsin. Online condolences may be left for Norman’s family at www.sampsonfuneralhome.com. Arrangements were entrusted to Sampson Funeral Home in Colfax, Wisconsin.
Memorials made in lieu of flowers will be designated by the family to honor Norman’s life and memory. The family wishes to thank The Deerfield and Westfields Hospital, both of New Richmond, for their exceptional, tender loving care of Norman over the past few weeks and months.