James H. Knutson
Knutson, James H. Aged 71 of Mpls. Passed peacefully April 2 from leukemia at home surrounded by family and the arias of Leontyne Price. He is survived and loved by wife April, daughter Katrina (Ty Yule), son Kieran (Tricia), grandsons Sasha and Kaelan, sisters Jan, Linda, Kathy (Steve), brother-in-law Joel (Pat), sister-in-law Julie and many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and comrades. Born in Stevens Point WI, and raised in Green Bay WI, Jim was the grandson of Scandinavian immigrants. His father was a railroad worker and veteran of WWII. His mother was a strong and smart woman who taught him the joys of reading. He was a survivor of two brain surgeries and lived with epilepsy his entire adult life. Jim was a musician and lover of music. He sang in church youth choir, played in high school band (including for Packers half-time shows) and later performed guitar and sang on streets and nightclubs in Europe and the Middle East. Jim was later a regular performer at Movement events in the U.S. Jim and April were strong supporters of the Minnesota Orchestra (and their Musicians Union). Jim was a world traveler. In his 20's he hitch-hiked, washed dishes, and played his guitar through many cities in Europe and the Middle East. Like so many of his generation Jim was influenced and inspired by the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam war movements. He participated in many struggles for peace, justice and equality over the years including campaigns to Impeach Nixon, Free Angela Davis, and against nuclear power. Jim as a major organizer against the 1982 closing of Mpls Central HS and other schools, and the imposition of reactionary programs on other schools. Jim ran for Minneapolis School Board in the early 80's with the backing of the Farmer-Labor Association. Jim was a member of the Communist Party USA for 20 years - leaving over lack of internal democracy and other issues in 1991 but remaining an advocate of socialism. Jim worked as a computer operator, mainly 3rd shift, at World Book Encyclopedia in Chicago, Pako Industries in Golden Valley MN (laid off during the Reagan Recession) and finally at the Star Tribune where he retired in 2006. Jim deeply loved and admired his wife April, and his family, who shared his commitments to social justice. pitched in to do childcare for his grandkids and got to walk his daughter down the aisle weeks before he passed. We loved him much and will miss him greatly. Memorial Service Sat Apr 18th 5:00pm Walker Community United Methodist Church, 3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407. In lieu of memorials, donations may be sent to The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, Twin Cities Musicians Union, Local 30-73 (708 N 1st St #CR 31, Mpls, MN 55401).
Published on April 15, 2015
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