Elmer G. Knudsen, 97
Blue Earth – Elmer G. Knudsen was born on Nov. 25, 1913, in Marietta, to Magnus Knudsen and Margaret Dahle Knudsen. He was the oldest of five children.
As a child, he worked alongside his father in his father’s blacksmith shop. As a teenager he learned the skills of meat cutting while working in a local meat market. Perhaps these experiences were the beginning of his lifelong love of working with his hands.
After graduating from Marietta High School during the Depression, Elmer served in the Civil Conservation Corp in Northern Minnesota.
There he helped plant thousands of trees. He continued to plant trees and nurture seedlings throughout his life.
In 1937, Elmer moved to Redwood Falls to manage the meat department in Tersteeg’s Super Valu store.
In 1939, he married Carol Olson who was born and raised in Marietta. Their two daughters, Margaret and Mary, were born in Redwood Falls. He owned and operated his own meat market while still living in Redwood Falls.
The family moved to Blue Earth in 1951 when Elmer and Carol purchased the Super Valu store there. The business grew and a new store was built and then later expanded with the addition of the Grill Restaurant.
He loved the grocery business. He became known as “Friendly Elmer” and, indeed, he did truly consider his customers to be his friends. Up until the time of his death, Elmer continued to remember customers and employees with appreciation. Elmer always believed that it was important to support and promote the Blue Earth Community. He served on City Council and the Chamber of Commerce. He was a longtime member of Kiwanis, was an advocate for schools, and an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church and a founding member of the Royal Chiselers woodcarving club. Elmer was instrumental in bringing new business and industry to Blue Earth. In turn, the community recognized his contributions by honoring him with numerous awards over the decades.
Many people have regarded him as a mentor. There were countless ways that he offered wisdom, encouragement and support to others.
He was a role-model as a father, a grandfather and a great-grandfather. It was a special gift that he was able to develop close relationships with all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren who try to live out the values and wisdom he has passed on to them.
Many remember Elmer as a fisherman and a woodcarver. It would be difficult to estimate the number of gnomes and angels that Elmer has carved and given to so many.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Carol, who died in 1998; and by his parents; and his brother, Andrew.
He is survived by his daughters and their husbands, Margaret (Jim) Mikkelson, of Rochester, and Mary (Larry) Oppegaard, of Excelsior; grandchildren, Erik Mikkelson, Rachel Livingston, David (Amy) Oppegaard, Sarah (Kim) Zeigler, Michael Oppegaard; great-grandchildren, Erika, Emily, Abigail, Ryan, Kaia, Joshua, Adam, Claire, Jake, Allison, Bria and Finn; siblings, Morris (Luella) Knudsen, Dorothy (Byron)?Redepenning and Donald (Clyde) Knudsen; nieces, nephews and extended family.
Visitation was held at the Patton Funeral Home and Cremation Service on Dec. 19, 2010, from 2-5 p.m.; and one hour prior to services at the church. Funeral Services are at Trinity Lutheran Church, in Blue Earth, on Dec. 20, at 11 a.m., with burial to follow in Riverside Cemetery, in Blue Earth.
The family prefers memorials to St. Luke’s Care Center, in Blue Earth, or to Trinity Lutheran Church.
Web tributes may be left at www.pattonfh.com