A funeral service was held on September 7, 2021, at All Nations Lutheran Church in Rocklake for Dr. Helen A. Knutt, 83, retired veterinarian of Rocklake and Cando, who passed away on September 1, 2021, at the Towner County Medical Center in Cando. Burial was at the Arndt Cemetery, rural Rocklake.
Helen Anne Hartwick was born in Blue Earth, Minn., the daughter of a real estate, loans and insurance agent and former farmer, George A. Hartwick, and his wife, Olivia E. (nee Bartel), a former school teacher. Born November 3, 1937, she grew up the youngest of seven children. After graduating as high school valedictorian in 1955 and attending Mankato Commercial College, she worked for 12-1/2 years for the United States Government, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Social Security Administration, first as a claims stenographern and then as a claims representative. On January 2, 1961, she married Raymond “Jack” Lloyd, who was initially a farm hand for her father. Together they owned and managed several rental properties in Mankato. When Jack passed away in 1967, she decided to take a chance and do something she’d wanted to do since childhood: become a veterinarian! She started pre-vet in 1968, going to Mankato State College. She was then accepted into the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota (St. Paul) and began attending classes in September of 1970. It was there she earned her bachelor of science degree in 1972 and her doctor of veterinary medicine in May of 1974. She came to Devils Lake in 1973 for a summer job with Roger Prior, DVM, at the Lake Region Veterinary Clinic. While employed there, she met Wallis Knutt of Rocklake, who was to become her husband. They met when she was sent up to Rocklake to do some blood testing on some hogs for Wallis and his brother, Ronald. They would meet a few more times, professionally, over the summer. When the results of the lab tests on the hogs came back, Wallis, who was mostly in charge of the hog operation, asked her to explain them over dinner. After dinner, when he began opening doors for her and asked what she wanted to do next, she realized that they were, in fact, on a date! After dating the rest of the summer, Wallis came to the Minneapolis area to see her again while also visiting his sister. At that time, he invited her to North Dakota for Christmas, where they became engaged. They were married March 16, 1974, in the Cando Lutheran Church. Together, they had two daughters: Gail Ellen and Martha Eve. She initially set up her veterinary practice on their farm, eventually opening Knutt Veterinary Clinic in the remodeled Jahnke Store building on Main Street in Rocklake. In 1979-80, Wallis and crew moved the now retired hog barn into Rocklake and then remodeled it for Helen’s practice, which was now known as Knutt Veterinary Hospital. This modern veterinary hospital had facilities for both large and small animals. She also operated Knutt Satellite Clinic at Langdon from 1977-1991. Dr. Knutt officially closed her practice in 2001 after being bitten by a cat, which caused an infection and then severe anemia. After recovering, she obtained employment with USDA, Food Safety and Inspection Service as a supervisory veterinary medical officer and inspector in charge at the North American Bison Cooperative in New Rockford, Bowdon Locker Plant, and, also, supervised two additional plants in Mandan. She retired from this position in 2007 for health reasons. She was an attendee/member of All Nations Lutheran Church in Rocklake since 1987. There she taught Sunday School for 3 years, was an active member of the Altar Guild for a couple of years, was recorder for AAL for a couple of years, played piano for Sunday services for several years, was a member of the LWML, and after her retirement volunteered as the church secretary. After retiring from the USDA, she took an active role in the local chapter of the NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Assn.). She also enjoyed many hours of jigsaw puzzles, playing games of Sequence and Flinch, helping her daughters out when possible, and taking in as many of the three granddaughters’ activities that she could.
Helen is survived by her daughters: Gail (Mrs.Terry) Harder of Munich and Marty (Mrs. Curtis) Larson of New Rockford; granddaughters: Casey June (Mrs. Luke) Weston of Rolla, Coty Mae Harder (fiance of Michael Kraft) of Grand Forks, and Olivia Rose Larson of New Rockford; sister Mary O. Monical of Pontiac, IL; sister-in-law Marcy (Mrs. Jerry) Frye of Minot; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Helen is preceded in death by her husband, Wallis; her first husband, Jack; her parents; sisters: Frances Cook, Dorothy Rutledge, and Margaret Ofverstedt and their respective husbands; brothers George B. and John and their respective wives; brother-in-law George D. Monical; and six nieces and nephews.
Memorials are preferred to the All Nations Lutheran Church in Rocklake.
Dunnigan-Dix Funeral Home of Cando, ND was in charge of arrangements. Online guestbook is available at www.dunnigandix.com.