Kenard Joy Knudson, 96, of Portland, ND, passed away Saturday, July 22, 2023, at Luther Memorial Home in Mayville, ND.
Kenard was born to Axel and Alida (Finell) Knudson, on November 30, 1926, at the family farm in Steele County, ND. Kenard was baptized and confirmed at Perry Lutheran Church, rural Portland. He attended Primrose School #4 through the 8th grade.
In 1951, Kenard was drafted into the Army. He served for over two years during the Korean Conflict, primarily stationed in Germany where he drove trucks, delivering supplies to army bases. While in Germany, Kenard was wounded on a rifle range when a bullet fired by a fellow solider ricocheted and hit him in the right shoulder. Kenard was a member of the American Legion Post 93 of Portland for 68 years, and served as part of the color guard for decades. He was also a member of the VFW, and Disabled American Veterans.
On June 18, 1966, Kenard married Loretta Mickelson at Finley Lutheran Church. Kenard and Loretta were blessed with two children, Kari and Kipp. Kenard was a devoted husband and father, never missing the special events in the lives of his family.
Kenard was active in his church and community serving in several positions at Perry Lutheran Church, Bruflat Lutheran Church, Primrose Township Board, Traill County Crop Improvement Association, and the Portland Farmers Elevator Board.
Aside from his family, Kenard loved nothing more than being a farmer and raising livestock. His farming career spanned from the days of walking behind horse-drawn equipment, to enjoying air conditioning and auto-steer. He drove tractors and trucks after the age of 90, and even when he was no longer able, he always offered to help on the farm.
Kenard never missed an opportunity for a cup of coffee and a visit with friends and family, or even complete strangers. He preferred to end each day with a coffee mug full of ice cream and typically had M&Ms close by. He was overjoyed when grandkids came into his life and relished the time he spent with them. He lived his faith by treating others with kindness.
Kenard is survived by his daughter Kari Knudson, of Bismarck; his son Kipp Knudson and wife Marlana, and grandchildren Grant and Reid Strand, all of Portland; his siblings Gilman (Carolyn) Knudson of Portland; MaryAnn (Edmond) Gunderson of Fargo; his sister-in-laws Marion Knudson of Mayville and Janet (Vern) Wegge, of Mentor, MN; and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife Loretta; his parents; his siblings Alvia Knudson, Rollan Knudson, and Genevieve Kullhem; and his brothers-in-law Abner Knudson, Richard Nelson, and Charlie Kullhem.
Blessed be the memory of Kenard Joy Knudson.
Visitation: Will be 5–7 PM on Friday, July 28, 2023 with a 6:30 PM Public Prayer Service at the Baker Funeral Home Chapel in Mayville, ND and will resume one hour prior to the service at the church.
Funeral Service: Will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, July 29, 2023 at the Bruflat Lutheran Church in Portland, ND.
Military Honors: May~Port Honor Guard and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors.
Burial: Will be at 4:30 PM Saturday, July 29, 2023 in the Perry Cemetery in Portland, ND.