Maurice H. Knutson


(Oct. 9, 2004)

A memorial service will be conducted Saturday, Oct. 16 at Hope Lutheran Church in Powell at 2 p.m. for Maurice H. (Maury) Knutson, 92, who died Saturday, Oct. 9 at the Powell Nursing Home.

He was born Aug. 24, 1912, the son of Clarence M. and Lillie J. Nelson Knutson, in Climax, Minn.

His rich career in business and education included banking, ranching, implement dealership and Lutheran College administration. He had many stories to tell from his year's experiences.

One of the most traumatic things in his life was his involvement in the Earl Durand robbery at First National Bank in Powell in March of 1939. He was forced at gunpoint by Durand to open the bank vault and then was tied together in a human hostage chain with two others as Durand attempted to escape the bank. Later he would say, "I saw very, very little chance of getting out of this (alive)."

He did survive, and at his death, he was the last survivor of the events of that terrible day.

His family will remember him as a multi-faceted man, generous and kind, whose best moments were being with friends and telling stories. He had music in his soul, and no one could interfere with his Saturday night date with Lawrence Welk. He played instruments by ear. If you could hum it, he could play it. Music and endless time on the lathe were his enjoyments, and family members will treasure mementos from those years.

Powell was his home of choice. His love of Powell started when he became cashier of the First National Bank in the Depression year of 1936. Though subsequent career experiences took him away, he always came home.

His career in banking began in 1929 in Rosholt. Wisc. After marrying Lillian Grosfield on Jan. 10, 1935, it didn't take long for her to say, "Small town Wisconsin is OK, but we will go West, young man." He never looked back.

Survivors include a daughter, Louise Haggerty of Denver; a sister, Ruth Behrend of Watertown, Wisc.; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his wife Lillian; a daughter, Dorothy; a brother, Charles; and his parents.

Memorial contributions to Hope Lutheran Church or a charity of choice would be appreciated by the family.