Obituary of Gene Knutson
Our beloved father Eugene "Gene" Knutson took his last breath on Friday, October 27, 2023, just 13 days after his 94th birthday. Born in Waukesha, WI to Bernard Knutson and Martha (Dowling). He had an older sister who died at birth. His extended family consisted of many aunts, uncles and cousins from both sides of the family. They were very influential in his life, and he talked often of them. His mother died when he was a young child, so members of both of the Knutson and Dowling family helped raise him, especially during the time that his father was in the military. Times were tough. No matter who he was living with or what job he was working at he was always appreciative. He had so many happy memories of the times he spent with his cousins fishing, swimming and ice skating on the Fox River in Waukesha.
He attended White Rock grade school in Waukesha from 1st to 4th grade. He then moved to Chicago and attended 5th grade there. He returned to Waukesha when his father was drafted in WWII. Gene graduated from Waukesha High School in 1948. He made lifelong friends along the way. He went to University of WI -Madison for one semester on a swimming scholarship. While in high school he met our mother, Jacqueline Joan Hall, and they married in September of 1951. The Korean war broke out in 1950 so he enlisted to serve his country. He was stationed at Biggs Air Force Base/Fort Bliss in Texas, and in Japan and Korea. He was discharged in 1954 and came home to two very small children, Jeanne and Mark. They were blessed with another son, Eric, in 1959.
After Dad was discharged from the Air Force, he went to Milwaukee School of Engineering to continue his technical training in electronics. In 1956 he joined Speeds Appliance Store in Waukesha. He often said he got the job because he was a veteran. He worked there for 10 years and then worked for Abbot Appliance in Waukesha. In 1976 he and Mom opened their own business, Knutson T.V. Sales and Service located on Broadway in downtown Waukesha. Eric joined the business in 1976 as well.
Our mom passed away in 1983. Dad married Helen Paulos in 1986. They moved to Sun City, Arizona to enjoy their retirement years together. They traveled in their RV along with many of their friends who also retired out there. He also enjoyed golfing and being a loyal volunteer with the Lions Club. They always came back to the Waukesha area during the summer months to spend time with family. Sadly, Helen passed away in 2015. Dad moved back to Waukesha and took up residence at the Avalon Manor. He proudly lived in an independent apartment right up until the end. He had many friends there and was very happy.
Gene is survived by his daughter Jeanne Plunkett (Tim), his two sons Mark (Patricia) and Eric (Kelley). He has six grandchildren - Shawn, Megan, Kristin, Kathryn, Madeline and Zachary and eight great grandchildren - Kealee, Connor, Ruth, Hunter, Max, George, Ruby, Rosalind and one more blessing on the way.
Dad was a man who made lemonade out of lemons. He never complained. He appreciated everything. He was always willing to help those who needed it. He never spoke unkindly about anyone. His sense of humor kept us laughing. His work ethic made us want to do our very best. His commitment to our family set an example for how to be a loving parent. As a grandparent and great grandparent, his lap was always available for a little one to crawl onto.
His passing has left an ache in our hearts and an emptiness that will be hard to fill but, oh, do we have our wonderful memories!
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at www.stjude.org and/or Saint Joseph’s Indian School at www.stjo.org.
The visitation for Gene will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2023, from 9:30 a.m. until the start of the Celebration of Life at 11:00a.m. at Cesarz, Charapata and Zinnecker Funeral Home 237 N Moreland Blvd Waukesha, WI.