November 18, 1921 – December 18, 2020
Merle Knutzen, 99, of Brookings, South Dakota, passed away on Dec. 18, 2020, at The Neighborhoods at Brookview. Private family funeral services will be held on Monday, Dec. 28, at Zion Lutheran Church in Alexandria, Minnesota, with burial to follow in Kinkead Cemetery, Alexandria. The funeral will be uploaded to the Eidsness Funeral Home website by Tuesday morning. Eidsness Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Merle B. (Belle) Knutzen was born on Nov. 18, 1921, to Anson and Ivy (Scow) Wolfe in rural Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska. She was a graduate of Cedar Bluffs High School, and attended nurse's training at Lincoln General Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Merle married Randall Knutzen on May 10, 1942, at her home in Cedar Bluffs. They lived in Omaha, Nebraska, until Randall was inducted into the Coast Guard on Dec. 24, 1942, and was stationed near Boston, Massachusetts. After the war Randall was employed by Navistar International as a comptroller. During his career there he was transferred to a number of new locations. They moved from Nebraska to Iowa, then Illinois, then New York, and finally, Minnesota.
Randall and Merle were very active in church where Merle taught Sunday School and was active in Ladies Fellowship. Merle volunteered at Bethany on The Lake as well as volunteering in the library at the Zion Lutheran School. Merle and Randall loved to square dance and played in pinochle and bridge clubs. Merle worked for 10 years at the Bloomington Public Library. They retired to Alexandria, Minnesota, in 1976, and built a home on Lake Le Homme Dieu where they spent many happy years with family and friends. Following Randall's passing in 2002, she decided to move to Brookings to be closer to family. She has been a resident at Stoneybrook Suites for the past six years where she made many friends. She played a mean game of bingo and Uno, and probably read every Amish romance book in the Brookings Public Library. Her strong faith sustained her throughout her life.
Merle is survived by her three children: a daughter, Susan Crew, of White Bear Lake, Minnesota; two sons: Randy (Sue) Knutzen, of Brookings, South Dakota, and Timothy (Rachel) Knutzen, of New Hope, Minnesota; 8 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Merle was preceded in death by her husband, Randall; her parents; two brothers; and four sisters.
In lieu of flowers, Merle's family requests that memorial donations be designated to the Peace Lutheran Church in Brookings.