Knops, Duane W. age 85, of Spring Park, passed away December 19, 2012. Preceded in death by wife Margaret, parents Peter and Geneva, and sister Dolores Brand. Survived by children Dirk and Debora; brother Donald Knops; sister Diane Knops; brother -in-law Glenn Crisman; nieces, nephews, other family and friends. A World War II veteran, Duane had his 18th birthday in combat as a Marine on the island of Iwo Jima, serving also in Japan and on over 20 different Pacific islands before returning home in 1946. Due to a fire at the military records office, Duane was not awarded many of the service medals he had earned. 46 years later, in a ceremony at Fort Snelling, Duane was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action on Iwo Jima. Duane studied sales and advertising, starting as assistant to the mail- room boy at Campbell-Mithun Advertising, and eventually rising to a vice presidency. He wed Margaret in 1950, and they were married for 47 years, residing in Illinois, Texas and Minnesota. Duane was a man of true faith, an incurable optimist with a sparkling wit, a twinkle in his eye and a ready smile. His wartime experiences made him appreciate the fragility of life, and he lived each day in gratitude that he had survived, and in humility remembering those who did not return. He handled the decline associated with Parkinson's disease with an amazing grace. Duane was granted a peaceful passing after a lifetime of service, faith and boundless love for his wife, his children, his work and his country. He is especially loved and missed by his children, who are comforted knowing Dad is dancing in heaven with his beloved bride. Semper Fi, Dad. Special thanks to the staff at Presbyterian Homes Lake Minnetonka Shores for giving Duane exceptional care and joy during his final years. Memorials preferred to charity of your choosing. Memorial Service 10 am Friday, May 31, 2013 at Ft. Snelling Memorial Chapel, followed by presentation of military honors at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery at 11:45 am.
This obituary was originally published in the Star Tribune.