Richard (Dick) Curtis Knudsen

Richard (Dick) Curtis Knudsen, age 82, passed away on Aug. 26, 2017 at home in Norman, Okla.

Richard was born in Neponset on Nov. 20, 1934 to Harold W. and Helen E. (Booth) Knudsen. He was married to Joan G. Whitehouse on April 21, 1957 in Kewanee. They have two children, Julie and Curtis along with two very special grandchildren Haley (William) and Connor (Krystal) and two extra special great grandchildren, Ean and Myles. He was proceeded in death by his parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws and honorary brothers Arland J. Berg and LaVerne Carlson.

He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren along with special friends Richard (Mary) Kerner and Denny (Marie) Marchand and Scott (Yvonne) Taylor.

Richard’s early years were spent growing up on a farm and attending a one room school in the Buda/Providence area of Illinois. Yes, he walked uphill in the snow (both directions) a zillion miles every day. He attended junior high and high school in Galva, where he ran track and played both basketball and football. High school was where he developed his love of race cars. He never missed an Indy 500 — either being there in person or watching it on TV.

His career began in the auto industry in Galva which he felt would help prepare him for a life of farming. This was interrupted by his service to his country in the US Army. As life goes on, at times adjustments are made and you have to remain flexible. Upon returning home from military service, his life changed and he was given an opportunity to go into the restaurant business. For the next thirty-plus years, he started with Sandy’s as a restaurant manager, vice president of Hardee’s Food System, Inc. and a regional director of Popeye’s Famous Fried Chicken.

In 1993, he retired and his final venture was owning “The Ranch” in the country. Richard’s favorite saying was, “You can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy.” He was doing what he loved, playing in the dirt, working in his yard, on his last day on this earth. He passed into God’s Hands quickly and at home. He has left a void and emptiness in our lives which we will fill with memories of his storytelling and his unconditional love. He was very loved and respected and will be deeply missed.

A small close friend and family service will be at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Norman on Friday, Sept. 1 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to St. John’s for their Biblical Garden. Interment will be at the Historical Oak Hill Cemetery in Providence.