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Margie Joan Knutson, age 77, of West Union, IA, died from complications following surgery on Sunday, June 22, 2014, surrounded by her family, at the Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, WI.
A Celebration of Life service was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 28, at Zion Lutheran Church in West Union. The Rev. Nancy Larson officiated.
Providing music were organist Leslie Poppen and vocalists Larry Johansen and Debbie Lafferty. Songs included “In the Garden,” “On Eagle’s Wings,” and “Here I Am, Lord.” “Thy Will Be Done” was sung as a duet. The congregational hymn was “Borning Cry.”
Honorary pallbearers were all of Margie’s grandchildren and her great-grandchild.
Arrangements were handled by Schluter-Balik Funeral Home in Decorah.
Margie Joan (Buisman) Knutson was born on October 30, 1936, the daughter of William Earl and Nellie Mae (Ross) Buisman in Guttenberg, IA.
Margie attended school in Guttenberg and then moved to Elkader during her junior year, graduating in 1954. She attended Luther College in Decorah and received her teaching certificate.
During her time at Luther, she met her future husband, Richard Knutson. They were married on June 17, 1956, in Guttenberg.
Margie taught grade school in Canton, MN and taught as a substitute at North Fayette Schools. She returned to school, and received her Bachelor’s degree from Upper Iowa University.
She worked as a stay-at-home mother when her children were young and then as a District Court Attendant in the First Judicial District of Iowa, retiring in 2000.
Margie was very active and served in various chairs including Worthy Matron with the Oelwein Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star #45, and President of the Wednesday Art Club. She continually volunteered in the community, helping with school sporting events, serving as a founder and secretary of the West Union Area Officials Association, and participating in the Palmer Hospital Auxiliary.
She enjoyed playing Granny Basketball until 2009. She was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church, active in Do-Days, helping with the choir and mentoring the youth. Margie also played piano accompaniments for many North Fayette students as they competed in band and vocal musical contests over the years.
Margie is survived by her pride and joy, her seven children: Becky Knutson (Jim Usgaard), Urbandale, IA; Beth (Gordon) Sharp, Crosby, MN; Barb (Mike) Baker, Grinnell, IA; Brenda Schaller, Decorah, IA; Betsy Jepsen (Clarence Hudson), Urbandale, IA; Brooke (Rich) Carter, Denver, IA; and Bill (Mary) Knutson, Fairbank, IA; twelve grandchildren: Chelsea Doshan, Craig Doshan, A.J. Baker, Trent Baker, Casey Schaller, Zac Schaller, Chris Jepsen, Nick Jepsen, Jessica Carter, Jaci Carter, Katelyn Knutson and Emma Knutson; and great-granddaughter: Ava Doshan.
She is also survived by two brothers: William Buisman, Plano, TX, and Gerald (Dixie) Buisman, Marion, IA, along with many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
Margie was preceded in death by her parents: William Earl and Nellie Mae (Ross) Buisman; her husband, Richard Knutson in Feb. 2005; her sister-in-law and best friend, Mary Trese Buisman; and her neighbor and special friend, June Kraft.
Memorials may be given in Margie’s memory to the Margie J. Knutson Memorial Fund, c/o Brenda Schaller, 309 Mound St., Decorah, IA 52101. 27u27