WACONIA, Minn. - Judi Lynn Knutson, 64, of Waconia, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Judi was born Sept. 22, 1947, in Detroit, the daughter of Marvin and Frances (Burbank) Jackson.
On Aug. 16, 1969, she was united in marriage to Ronald D. Knutson at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Renton, Wash. She was a faithful wife of 43 years, a devoted mother to two daughters and a grandmother to four grandchildren.
She spent much of her life committed to the cause of teaching, being one of the first special education teachers in the state of Minnesota. She began her teaching career in Norwood Young America, but spent the vast majority of her years in Waconia. She was the Special Education Coordinator for the District in Waconia for many years. She taught special education, second grade, GED classes and was an adjunct professor at the College of St. Thomas. She was also a contributing writer for special education text books at the collegiate level.
During her career, she was a highly respected teacher, earning the Waconia Teacher of the Year honor as well as Teacher of Excellence in the state of Minnesota.
She was an avid reader and part of the Sagasu Book Club for many years. She enjoyed going to regular Bible studies and treasured her yearly trips with the family to the cabin in Bemidji every summer.
Judi was a faithful long term member of Faith Lutheran Church and she volunteered regularly at the Wisconsin Food Shelf. She will be dearly missed by all.
Judi was predeceased by her brother-in-law, Jim Lemer.
She is survived by her loving family: husband, Ron; daughters, Kara Jo (Wade) Prestrud of Hudson, Wis., Bria (Matt) Grudzielanek of Richfield; grandchildren, Abby, Emily, Nathan and Courtney Jo Prestrud; her father and mother, Marvin and Frances Jackson of Renton, Wash; brothers, Bruce (Anita) Jackson of Nampa, Ind. and James (Cheryl) Jackson of Arlington, Wash.; sister, Janet Lemer of Rapid City; S.D.; sister-in-law, Karen (Ron) Sando of Bismarck, N.D.; nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
Funeral services have been held in Renton, Wash.
Memorials will be dedicated to Southview and Bayview Elementary Schools to support reading programs in her honor.
Arrangements were with the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia. Johnsonfh.com.