Wallace J. "Wally" Knutson
September 29, 1936 ~ August 5, 2019
Wallace J. (Wally) Knutson died unexpectedly of natural causes at his home in New Hampton on August 5, 2019. He was 82 years old. Friends may call on the family at Conway-Markham Funeral Home in New Hampton on Friday, August 9, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The funeral will take place at the Jerico Lutheran Church on Saturday, August 10 at 10:30 am. Interment will follow in the Jerico Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by Lawler American Legion. Online condolences for Wally’s family may be left at www.conway-markhamfh.com. Memorials may be directed to the family. Wally was born on September 29, 1936 in New Hampton, son of Henry O. and Clara (Hereid) Knutson. He was baptized and confirmed at the Jerico Lutheran Church. Early in his life, the family lived on a farm east of the village of Saude, later moving to another farm on what now is called 110th Street between Saude and Jerico. Wally attended several country schools in the area and graduated from New Hampton High School in 1954. He received the Thespian award for his portrayal of a character named Dexter in a play titled “Sky High” during his senior year. After high school, Wally entered the US Army and was stationed in Germany in 1955 and 1956, working as a company clerk due to the typing skills he learned in high school. Remembering his military service, he became a member of American Legion Post #279 in Lawler. He was proud to honor fellow veterans at military burials and most assuredly now would personally thank the comrades escorting his own funeral procession. Wally met Elaine Pipho in Waterloo, and the couple married in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Artesian on November 2, 1963. Elaine and Wally spent their life together in New Hampton, rearing two sons, David and Stephen. Wally was dedicated to family, friends, and community. A great memory in his life was the journey he took to Norway, where he met distant cousins related to his grandfather, Olaf Hereid, from the village of Årdal. These relatives showed Wally the small, gravely plot on which his grandfather had survived before migrating to the United States, and thereafter Wally kept a few stones from this lot on his dresser. After working in several jobs over his career, Wally retired to assist Elaine’s home childcare business. He was a well-known figure around town, shuttling generations of children to and from school, swimming lessons, summer camps, ball games, and other activities. Many of these little ones grew up remembering Wally, and he always was pleased to attend graduations and weddings of people years after he and Elaine cared for them. He was fond of all of these children, but his heart always was devoted to his granddaughters, Lydia and Miriam. There were very few mornings that Wally missed having coffee with his friends at Kwik Star or Carquest, and he enjoyed playing cards at Butch’s on many afternoons. He played bridge in several local card clubs for decades. Wally nearly always had a story about all of the people around him, and he delighted in remembering their shared past. Wally served as Secretary of the Redeemer Lutheran Church in New Hampton for 55 years. He was one of the congregational delegates to the annual convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod for many years. Remembering Wally’s legacy are his wife of 55 years, Elaine Knutson of New Hampton; son, David and his daughters Lydia and Miriam of Cincinnati, OH; and son, Stephen Knutson, of Greenville, SC; two sisters-in-law, Verdene Knutson of Waverly and Virginia Freie (John) of Livermore, CA; and one brother-in-law, Michael Pruisner of Waverly. He was proceeded in death by his father, Henry O. Knutson, in 1979; his mother, Clara (Hereid) Knutson, in 1997; and brother, Harvey Knutson, in 2016.