Keith Knutson Memorial

Keith Irving Knutson passed away on July 7, 2023.
Keith was born to Irving and Lois Knutson on October 22, 1954. His family lived in Christine, North Dakota then moved to Fargo where Keith met his childhood sweetheart, Robin Ann Thompson, in 1969.

Keith grew up with four brothers and one sister. His brother Rod has fond memories of the band they formed called the Midget Monkeys, and his sister-in-law Evelyn remembers the “20th Street Gang” they all formed with their siblings and cousins in their early teens. They all enjoyed swimming together in the Red River and rode banana seat bikes around town.

According to his siblings, Keith always liked to make things work. When he and his brother Rod found an old wooden wagon, they tried to fix it and ride it down a hill. They got about a quarter of the way down before it fell apart. Keith could also be mischievous, like the time he stole twelve-year-old Robin’s bike to get her attention.

Keith loved the outdoors. He played quite a few sports in Fargo, including football in the streets, softball, and tennis. With so much family around, Keith could always be found with his siblings, his cousins, and Robin’s family riding bikes, camping, shooting arrows, canoe trips, and backgammon tournaments. They also hung out in old abandoned semi-trucks that they turned into forts.

In his teen years, Keith, worked at Imperial Preserves in Fargo (a.k.a. Paul Mark and the Jelly Factory) along with his siblings and cousins.

The Knutson vacations in Keith’s childhood were often short weekend trips to the family farm, which Keith said were more work than vacation. Their family reunions were held at Red Willow Resort near the farm, which had a small lake with boats, fishing, softball, and an indoor roller-skating rink with wooden floors. Keith learned how to roller skate forward and backward when he was about nine or ten years old. Years later, when he went skating with Robin at Bud’s Skating Rink in Moorehead, Minnesota, she was very impressed. They spent the whole evening skate-dancing to every song.

Keith married Robin Thompson on December 14, 1974, and they moved from Fargo to Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1982.

Keith was smart and levelheaded, steady as a rock. That proved to be a strong quality as he started and raised his own family with Robin. Together they had four sons: Dustin, Kasey, Jess, and Charlie. In 1986, Keith began his 33-year career at Synthes as a machinist, and he attended college in the evenings for computer science. In the early ’90s, he was promoted to manager of the IT department. He received several awards for outstanding service and loyalty to Synthes throughout the years. He always cared about his coworkers. One of his colleagues recently said, “Keith was a lifelong friend and the best boss I ever had.”

After their sons grew up, Keith and Robin enjoyed traveling to Niagara Falls, Germany, Ireland, Hawaii, Mexico, Jamaica, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, and they took many road trips across the country. Keith was an avid golfer, very competitive, and he taught his sons and three of his grandsons (Tristen, Cody, and Liam) to golf. He was especially proud when Tristen won the 2022 Grant Open, the first Knutson to win in 40 years. In his final game just days before he passed, Keith mud-stomped his youngest son Charlie with a score of 82-90 leaving no question as to who the true champion was.

Being a father of four boys, he also cherished his time with his two granddaughters, Hailey and Mason.
After Keith retired in 2019, he and Robin spent time camping, gardening, traveling, paddle boarding, golfing, and riding e-bikes. His sons say he was an extreme mountain biker at the age of 68.

Keith is survived by his four sons: Dustin, Kasey (Ashley), Jess (Shay), and Charlie, and his siblings Doug, Ethel, Rodney (Evelyn). Also surviving are numerous cousins and his grandchildren: Keith, Cody, Noah, Hailey, Tristen, Mason, and Liam, and 69 nieces and nephews; 58 great nieces and nephews, and 19 great-great nieces and nephews. AKA half the state of North Dakota.

Keith is preceded in death by his wife Robin, his parents Irving and Lois Knutson, and his brothers Randy and Gary.