Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kenneth Kermit Knutzen

My Grandfather, Ken Knutzen, passed away last Thursday May 6th. He passed peacefully in the early morning after 96 long, devoted years of life. He is remembered by Dorothy his wife; Sue, Ted and Jack his children; John, Julianne, Jessica, Christine, David and Michael, grandchildren and Michaela great-granddaughter.

There are a few things which I have known and have been reminded of about Grandpa's life over the past few days as our family has gathered together to celebrate his life. Grandpa was always a quiet and understated man but lacked nothing in devotion, loyalty, generosity and care. All his children thanked him for giving the blessing of a stable home, great education, financial wisdom and for always being there for them.

I was particularly touched to be able to step in as a musician for the memorial service. Two of the songs Grandpa chose to be sung/played in his memory were "How Great Thou Art" and "Amazing Grace." What I learned from this, and his role as Grandpa is that his devotion to his family, generosity and care was rooted in a deep understanding that this life was not his own. His decisions were made with great care, out of deep gratitude to God the giver of all good things. Grandpa never told me this explicitly but the lesson I have learned is one of stewardship. Recognizing that our lives, relationships, finances, jobs and health are a gift from God and only last for a little while.

I also appreciated taking time to find humor in some of the more difficult times we shared with Grandpa over the past few years. A note in his dresser drawer read "No, Ken, I cannot buy you a car. No, Ken, I cannot take you to the bank. No, Ken, I do not have access to your accounts. No, Ken, I cannot take you to buy a car..." and so forth. He broke out of the nursing home one day a few years back with a car-ad in hand and was determined to get himself some new wheels, then he couldn't figure out how to get there. Grandpa drove his own car, completed his taxes (on turbo-tax on his own computer), and took care of Dorothy until after he was 92. What a long, remarkable life! I hope I'm as feisty as he was when I get that old.

PS: Bet you have never known someone who actually has the name Kermit. Awesome :) I wonder if we can convince anyone to keep that one in the family!

Aug. 13, 1913 ~ May 6, 2010

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