Joel Knudson, age 77, of St. James, died on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Minneapolis. Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in St. James with Rev. Martin Lopahs officiating. Burial, with Military Honors provided by the St. James Veterans Honor Guard, will be at the Butterfield City Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday at the church beginning at 9 a.m. In Lieu of flowers the family would prefer donations be made to the charity of your choice. You may send the family condolences online at www.sturmfh.com. Arrangements are with Sturm Funeral Home in St. James.
Joel Seilen Knudson was born April 23, 1936, in Butterfield to parents Seilen and Borghild (Hanson) Knudson. Joel grew up in Butterfield where he graduated from Butterfield High School in 1954. Joel then went onto mechanic school in Mankato. He served in the Air Force from 1955 to 1959 and another eight years in the Reserves. On June 5, 1964, Joel was united in marriage to Shelly Becker in Madelia. In October 1992, Joel's parents and wife were killed in an automobile accident. On August 10, 1996, Joel married Ardell (Lunz) Nelson at Voss Park Church in Butterfield. Joel was a mechanic his whole career. He had worked for Crowley Motors in St. James, Stoez Motors in Mt. Lake before opening his own place Knudson Motors in Butterfield which he operated for 31 years before retiring. Joel was a collector of antique cars. He loved to show them in area parades. He coordinated the Butterfield Antique Car show for many years, was active in the Prairieland Antique Car Club and had his antiques at the Butterfield Threshing Bee for many years. He also enjoyed tending his tree farm on their place. Joel enjoyed camping and fishing.
Joel is survived by his wife Ardell Knudson of St. James; step-children, Randy (Pam) Nelson of Madelia, Jill (Mark) Runge of St. James; uncle, Wayne (Marge) Hanson of Mt. Lake; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
He is preceded in death by his first wife; parents; several aunts and uncles.