Donald Eugene Knudsen, the son of Otto and Dagny (Nissen) Knudsen, was born April 6, 1928 in Dannebrog, Nebraska. During his childhood the family lived in Denver, CO, Boone, IA and finally settled in Eagle Grove, IA.
Upon graduation from Eagle Grove High School in 1945, Don joined the Navy. After basic training at the Great Lakes, he was stationed at the San Diego Naval Hospital. After returning to Eagle Grove in 1947, he attended Eagle Grove Junior College. Don was united in marriage to Ramona Derscheid on Aug. 28, 1948 in the Methodist Church. The couple raised their family in Eagle Grove and later divorced. Don joined his father in the real estate business in 1948 and purchased it in 1958.
Community involvement included the Eagle Grove Park Board, Fire Department, City Council, Auxiliary Police Force, the Development Board, Airport Commission, School Board and the Wright County Real Estate Board.
Don held memberships in Rotary Club, Lions Club, Masons & Shriners, American Legion, the M&M Club and the United Methodist Church. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Friendship Haven in Fort Dodge, IA. At the request of Governor Robert D. Ray, he served several terms on the Iowa Conservation Commission and the Iowa Real Estate Commission.
Don officially retired from the real estate and farm management business after suffering a stroke in August 2016 and moved to Rotary Senior Living in Eagle Grove where he passed away on June 18, 2019 at the age of 91. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Eireen Notestine, brother-in-law Dick Notestine, sister-in-law Mary Claire Knudsen, and niece Patricia Notestine.
He is survived and lovingly remembered by his son Kurt Knudsen of Eagle Grove, daughters Jane Knudsen of Austin, TX and Kate (Brian) Forbes of Las Vegas, NV; grandchildren Lauren (Doug) Meyer of Libertyville, IL and Grant Forbes of Las Vegas, NV; brothers Rodney (Bev) Knudsen of Ankeny, IA, Roger (Nancy) Knudsen of Columbus, OH, Jerry Knudsen of Humboldt, IA and sister Kaaren (Mike) Nelson of Bettendorf, IA, along with many nieces, nephews, and a host of friends.
Interment will be a private service at Rose Hill Cemetery in Eagle Grove, IA. A memorial service will be held Friday, July 5, 2019 at 1:00pm with a reception afterwards at the United Methodist Church in Eagle Grove. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Rotary Memorial Trust, Box 107, Eagle Grove, IA 50533.
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