FRANCES ELAINE KNUTSENFrances Elaine Knutsen passed away on April 2, 2013 after a brief illness of pneumonia.
Frances Elaine Knutsen passed away on April 2, 2013 after a brief illness of pneumonia.
She was born on December 26, 1919 in a small place called Graettinger, Iowa, in the northwest corner of the state. Her farming parents were Jorgen Willard Knutsen and Clara Christina Hermanson Knutsen. After attending a one-room country school for her early years and the local high school. she went on to Cedar Falls to get a two year teaching degree. Then she was back in the one-room country school, but now as the teacher! She later acquired both a BA and MA degree in Education.
She served as teacher, reading specialist and elementary principal. Fran also served in WWII as a WAACs for three years where she was assigned to London, England, and given the job of driving a jeep for the officers there. Once she drove General Eisenhower! The V-2 rockets or "buzz bombs" as they were commonly known kept her "on her toes!" After the war she returned to her teaching career where she worked in Albert Lea, Fairbault and Austin, Minn. She lived in Austin many years before moving to Duluth to be near her sister, Mavis. While here, she lived in Pines III, the Diamond Willow in Cloquet and lastly The Shores (Ecumen's Lakeshore Memory Care). Fran was very much a special lady. She never married but was a "second mother" to her six nieces and nephews. She was well-known for her pumpkin parties before Halloween. St. Olaf Church in Austin saw her often doing whatever tasks needed doing. She enjoyed helping others and was a friend to all. She loved to travel and visited every continent except Antarctica.
She was preceeded in death by her parents & sister Martha.
She is survived by her sister Mavis Whiteman of Duluth; and six neices and nephews, Jeff, Steve, Julie and David along with Laura & Kris and cousins.
She will be missed and remembered by many.
A Remembrance Ceremony: 1:30 p.m. June 9 in St Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin, Minn.