EDDIE KNUTSONEddie Knutson, 58, a lifelong resident of Duluth, graduated to heaven Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Medical Center following a 10-month long battle with lymphoma.
Eddie Knutson, 58, a lifelong resident of Duluth, graduated to heaven Sunday morning at St. Mary’s Medical Center following a 10-month long battle with lymphoma.
Ed was a man of impeccable character, high-spirited personality, and unwavering faith. If ever anyone lived “life to the full” (JOHN 10:10), it was Ed! From being a devoted family man (especially proud of his daughter Nicole), to his business clients, to his family at The Vineyard Church, and to his hundreds of friends, Ed’s life reflected his belief that the most important thing in life is relationships -- and first and foremost was his relationship with the Lord!
He was a star quarterback at Duluth East (Class of ‘72), who patterned his play after the famous scrambling of Fran Tarkenton, leading the Greyhounds to a lopsided city championship during his senior year. He went on to UMD, where he graduated with a degree in business, and birthed his own specialty advertising company, No-Swetts, Inc., which he owned and operated for over 30 years. He was most proud of developing “Love God. Love People. Period.” apparel and accessories for The Vineyard Church, because those products embodied Ed’s simple philosophy of life.
Ed was known for doing things his own way. While he operated a one-man business, he was constantly accompanied into schools, banks, and many other businesses by his beloved dogs -- first Kelly, followed by Chicklit, and finally KC. Clients often chided him that his dogs charmed them into conducting business with Ed!
Ed and several of his closest high school friends founded The Nopers Foundation, a conglomeration of mostly Duluth East ‘72 classmates who not only continued the bonds of friendship that began in high school at their annual reunion, but dedicated themselves to providing scholarship assistance to student-athletes at Duluth East, eventually sponsoring the Joseph Mrkonich Scholarship in honor of their former football coach.
Ed was a competitive athlete, even after his heralded high school career passed. He particularly excelled in tennis, and then took up racquetball, where he and a number of local enthusiasts clashed in epic matches. Ed’s penchant for exercise helped him overcome health issues in recent years, including by-pass surgery in 2006.
The hallmark of Ed’s life was his faith in Christ. He was transformed in the 1980’s by participating in Spirit Valley TEC (Teens Encounter Christ), was later active in Community Bible Study, and nurtured by his Duluth Vineyard family. One of his favorite ministries in recent years was befriending legendary UMD Coach Jim Malosky and spending countless hours visiting him after “Mo” was confined to health facilities.
Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Marge Knutson, and his first niece, Nikki Dykema.
He is survived by his daughter Nicole of Duluth; special friend Patty Greene of St. Louis Park, Minn.; brothers John (Renee) of Burlington, Wis., Dukes of Sarasota, Fla., and Steve of Lakeville, Minn.; sister Barb (Bill) Dykema of Mechanicsville, Vir.; sister-in-law Mary Knutson of Lakeville, Minn.; nieces and nephews Carly Dykema and Matt (Anna) Dykema; John (Emily) Knutson, Trent Knutson, and Jeni Knutson; grand-nieces and grand-nephews Gracie Dykema, Tyler and Charlie Knutson, and Tiva Knutson; and cousins Mary Kohlbry and Jane Kirkwood.
CELEBRATION OF LIFE: Ed’s Final Gala, is being delayed until July at The Vineyard Church to accommodate schedules of family and friends. Memorial gifts for Nicole’s college fund may be made out to Ed Knutson Memorial and sent to Merchant’s Bank, 18550 Joplin Ave., Lakeville, MN 55044.