Thief River Falls – Harley Knutson, 84, of Thief River Falls, died suddenly on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 at his residence.
Funeral service to celebrate his life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at Zion Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, with Rev. Ale Tulu and Rev. John Golv officiating. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery in Thief River Falls. Military honors will be provided by the Ecklund-Holmstrom American Legion Post 117, Veterans Of Foreign Wars Post 2793 and the Minnesota Army National Guard Honor Guard.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. with a 7 p.m. prayer service on Monday, November 21, 2016 at Johnson Funeral service in Thief River Falls. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to the service on Tuesday at Zion Lutheran Church.
Harley Duane Knutson was born on November 29, 1931 in Thief River Falls, the son of Harry and Ella (Olson) Knutson. He was baptized and confirmed at Silver Creek Lutheran Church. Harley attended country school and graduated from Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls with the class of 1949.
On January 2, 1952 Harley entered into service with the United States Air Force. He spent two years in Germany during his enlistment and was an aircraft mechanic. Harley was Honorably Discharged on December 22, 1955. He held the rank of Private and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Army Occupation Medal (Germany). Following his discharge, Harley moved to Chino, CA where he worked as an airplane mechanic from 1956-1957 and then moved to Thief River Falls, and worked at American Crystal Sugar in Crookston, from 1957-1958. Harley also worked with Glen on the family farm and in the fall of 1959 he took his mother to Yuma, AZ where he worked with his cousin in the mortuary business.
On February 5, 1960, Harley was united in marriage to Vivian Kees in Yuma, AZ. They made their home in Thief River Falls from February until August and then moved to Glenwood, and Harley went to work for Wilson Brothers as a machinist until 1969. He transferred to Wilson Brothers in Red Lake Falls where he continued to work as a machinist from 1970-1990. The family made their home in Thief River Falls where they have continued to reside.
Harley learned how to repair and restore tractors from his father and uncle. He enjoyed improving/inventing things to make work easier. Harley loved spending time at home after his retirement and when he went out, enjoyed visiting with family and friends.
He was a member of Zion Lutheran Church and American Legion Post 117 in Thief River Falls.
Survivors include his loving wife, Vivian of Thief River Falls; daughters, Virginia (Mark) Swanson of Thief River Falls and Valerie Mattison of Warren,; grandchildren, Jennifer (Casey) Olson, Jared (Monica) Swanson, Jonelle (Matt) DeFrang, Sarah (Darren Rempfer) Frumoth, Sam Mattison, Jacob Mattison; great-grandchildren, Kendra, Blake and Audrey Olson, Abigail and Chloe Swanson, Ella and Wyatt DeFrang, Elizabeth and Kathryn Rempfer; and many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Glen (Gaylene) Knutson; sister, Arlene (Otto) Rehm; grandparents, Gunstein and Gunhild Knutson and Karl and Anna Olson; and nephew, Gary Knutson.
Condolences may be sent at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.