Dennis (Denny) Van Knutzen, age 72, of Winthrop, Washington passed away October 18, 2012 in the arms of his wife after a brave journey of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and a lung transplant.
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Born in Burlington, Washington August 10, 1940 to Iver and Cora May (VanDussen) Knutzen. He grew up spending summers at the family beach cabin on Samish Island with his sisters and brothers. Dennis appreciated his upbringing working hard at the Knutzen grass dehydrator and driving pea trucks amongst other farm chores.
He graduated from Burlington High School in 1958 and continued on to Pacific Lutheran University then received a Master of Business Administration at Washington State University in after completing training with the United States Marine Corps with an honorable discharge in 1967. He received his Certified Public Accountant license in 1968 and went to work for "The Big Five" accounting groups in Seattle. He broke off from the group forming Knutzen Associates. Along with an analytical mind, Dennis was creative and began a new adventure in building log cabins, but eventually returned to the professional world in a partnership at the Knutzen-McVay Group, a dental management and dental practice transition business.
Dennis found a love for the Methow Valley with the beautiful landscapes. He enjoyed Heli and downhill skiing, running, golf, Harley motorcycle rides, boating, cooking and collecting fine wines. Dennis eventually followed his dream and built River's Edge Resort in Winthrop offering traveler's the "Comforts of Home" in cabins set along the Chewuch River.
Dennis married Heidi Dean in Maui, Hawaii in 2003 and enjoyed 9 years of travel including a Harley motorcycle ride across the country visiting their favorite destinations in Amish Country. They had a love for antiques and enjoyed collecting across the country while discovering new, small towns. Also, many trips were enjoyed boating the San Juan Islands and the Gulf Islands where they both enjoyed the serenity of the water.
Dennis is survived by his loving wife, Heidi Knutzen. Also survived by his brothers, Terry and Barbara Knutzen of Bow; Bob Knutzen of Selah; Kent Knutzen and Karen Twede, Mark and Patty Knutzen, Tim and Colleen Knutzen all of Burlington and Tye and Darla Knutzen of Olympia. He is also survived by his sister, Tammy and Ken Colburn of Puyallup and his former wife, Jeanne Knutzen of Bellevue and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Iver Jess and Cora May (VanDussen), stepmother, Mary Olive (Tucker) Knutzen and sister, Mary Oline Willis.
A graveside service will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery in La Conner, Washington.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Kern Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, contributions are requested to Northwest Family Life 11320 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98125 or Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis 10866 W Washington Blvd #343, Culver City, CA 90232 or The Cove P.O. Box 895, Twisp, WA 98856
You may share your memories of Dennis, and sign his online guest register at www.kernfuneralhome.com
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on Oct. 23, 2012