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James Robert Knutson
October 19, 1938 ~ October 19, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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James Knutson, known as Jim, The Man, The Mousie King, and the King of Duck Butts, passed away on his 85th birthday, Thursday, October 19, 2023, at 10:19 p.m. surrounded by his loving family.
Visitation will be held from 12:00-2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 28, 2023, at the Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel, 85 N Main St, Kimball, Minnesota. Private burial at Concordia Lutheran Cemetery following the visitation. A Celebration of Life will be held from 1:00-5:00 p.m. on Satruday, November 4, 2023, at the Super 8 Motel, 419 S. Main St., Brooklyn, Michigan.
Jim was born in Robbinsdale, Minnesota on October 19th, 1938. His family moved to Annandale, Minnesota when he was a young child, where he learned the ins-and-outs of the Live Bait industry while working at the family bait store and drive-in. He was a graduate of Annandale High School with the Class of 1957, afterwards going on to serve in the Navy Reserves on active duty from 1957-1959. Following his departure from the Navy, Jim returned briefly to Annandale before his adventures took him to Michigan. Jim's diligence and eye for business would lead him to become a partner in Elliott's Wholesale Live Bait of Brooklyn, Michigan. In the late 60's he expanded the business to selling motorcycles and snowmobiles, his determination would eventually make him one of the largest Ski Doo dealers in the United States by 1979. Ultimately these endeavors would evolve to become an important part of Jim's legacy and cornerstone of Brooklyn, Knutson's Sporting Goods, and as an integral and driving force in the building of the Brooklyn Super 8 Motel. Jim was a dedicated and upstanding member of his community, serving on the Columbia School Board, Boy Scout Benefit Executive Committee, founding member for the Chamber of Commerce, and recipient of both the Chamber's "Citizen" and "Business of The Year" awards. He was a generous supporter and sponsor of local and national race car drivers, founding member of the Brooklyn Sportsmans Club, numerous school and community events, and most recently the Annandale Trap Shooting team.
Jim was an avid outdoorsman with a love for duck hunting and ice fishing. For all of Jim's accomplishments and loves, his greatest and most treasured achievement is the family he leaves behind. He made no secret of his love for the family he created, taking great pride in each and every person he held dear.
Jim is survived by his wife and deepest love of 57 years, Janet Knutson; his loyal children, Tom (Joy) Knutson and Tonya (Dave) Springer; loving grandchildren, Cayla (Parker) Upham, Topio (Amanda) Knutson, Dakota Springer, and Stella Springer; adoring great-grandchildren, Sabastian Upham and Bently Upham; uncle, Ronnie (Nancy) Thomas; step-siblings, Jack (Joanne) Ledwein, James (Jean) Ledwein, and Kathleen (Robert) Smith; and many nieces, nephews, extended family, and his lifetime imaginary friend, Herman Elinsky.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Harriet Knutson; stepfather, Frank Ledwein; siblings, Donald (Murphy) Knutson, Barbara (Wes) Wiegand, and Tommy Knutson; and step-siblings, Patricia Ledwein-Kittok and Bill Ledwein.