Judi Lynn Knutson, age 64 of Waconia, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. A funeral service was held Saturday, Aug. 25 at 1 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in Waconia with Rev. Dale Peterson officiating; visitation was held Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Johnson Funeral Home, Waconia and at the church one hour prior to the service. Casket bearers were Marty Cramer, Lea Ann Burau, Nancy Swiggum, Pat Clark, Brenda Grams, Mavis Mathistad, Theresa Fogerty, Judy Janish, Nancy Dammann and Darlyne Brunsvold. Interment was at Faith Rutz Lake Cemetery, Waconia.
Judi was born on Sept. 22, 1947 in Detroit, Mich., the daughter of Marvin and Frances (Burbank) Jackson. On Aug. 16, 1969 Judi was united in marriage to Ronald D. Knutson at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Renton, Wash. Judi Knutson 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 also 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 a 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. She 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 Waconia Food Shelf. She will be dearly missed by all.
Judi is preceded in death by her brother-in-law Jim Lemer.
Judi 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; father and mother Marvin and Frances Jackson of Renton, WA; brothers Bruce (Anita) Jackson of Nampa, Idaho, 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 other relatives and friends.
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 (www.johnsonfh.com).