Josephine Carson Knutzon

Nov 6, 2020

Josephine Carson Knutzon, 97, passed away at the Lakes Regional Hospital in Spirit Lake, Iowa, on November 6, 2020. She was born on April 23, 1923, in Eagle Grove, Iowa,to Joseph and Helen Carson. She graduated from Eagle Grove High School in 1941. She worked in Cedar Rapids during World War II and received a degree from the local business school.

She met her husband, Russell G. Knutzon, while roller skating in Thor, Iowa. Jo and Russ were married March 17, 1946, after Russell returned from serving in WWII. They celebrated 68 years of marriage together.

Eagle Grove has always been a special place to Jo, spending much of her life there raising her family and being involved in the community. Jo enjoyed dances at the Country Club and especially loved to dance the two-step. She belonged to the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority for over 50 years. Jo was a servant at heart, she loved Jesus, and was a second mom and grandma to many.

One of Jo’s favorite treats were trips to Okoboji. The family would camp at Gull Point State Park on West Lake Okoboji in the 1960s. They eventually purchased a cottage near the lake in 1984. Jo called her weekend getaways to Okoboji her retirement, as she continued to run her business well into her 80s.

Her life was about service to others, especially to her family. Jo’s Grandma Fiala lived with Russell and their children for 16 years. Grandma Fiala was like a mom to Jo as she raised both her and her brother Howard when they were orphaned at a very young age. 

Jo and Russ bought Ahrens Paint and Gift Store in 1970. Knutzon’s Inc. (Paint, Gifts, Plumbing, Heating, Wiring and Appliance) was successfully run for 40 years. This was a fixture on the block where many locals made part of their day to stop by and say hello. Jo loved her friends and customers. Her motto was, “Be good and kind, and help others.” Jo retired at 86 years young. She said that owning and running the store kept her young. 

Jo moved to the Lake Okoboji area after her husband passed away about 7 years ago. She lived at her cottage and finally Keelson Harbour Assisted Living. She made many friends there and would lift the spirits of all. She enjoyed crocheting, reading and Bingo. Her lifelong dream was a trip to Hawaii, which she was fortunate enough to accomplish several times after the age of 90! 

Jo never considered herself old. She lived life to its fullest with a young and happy spirit. She had friends of all ages and they loved her zest for life. What a blessing she has been to so many. For this reason, and so many others, we give thanks to an amazing lady, and a life well lived. 

She is survived by daughter Barbara Rohlf (Jim), son Kip Knutzon (Margie); grandchildren,Jason Knutzon (Rustina), Jared Knutzon (Aya), Bradley Meyer (Carrie), Ed Reinders (Amy), Christina McKay (Justin);great grandchildren, Landon, Libby, Ella, Aiden Knutzon, and Grant, Henry, Grace Meyer, and daughters of the heart Doris Tritle, Julie Jones, and Sara Posada.