Donald Lee Knecht, 68, Minot, formerly of Donnybrook, died Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, at his residence.
Donald was born in Harvey, on Aug. 26, 1944, to Otto and Hertha (Filler) Knecht. He was raised on a farm just south of Hurdsfield, where he spent most of his young life until moving to Foxholm in 1961 with his family. Donald graduated from Carpio High School in 1962 and the following year married his high school sweetheart and nursery mate, Cheryl Haux, on June 22, 1963.
Don began his grain elevator career in Foxholm in 1962. In 1965 they moved to Donnybrook, where he managed and become co-owner of Donnybrook Grain Co. Don loved serving his farmer friends for over 30 years before retiring in 1994. He had a passion for the business and always cared for number one, his customers. He especially loved buying durum and loved the spring planting season and fall harvest when he spent much more time with his farm friends.
Donald began farming in 1984 in his "spare" time. He enjoyed the challenges of farming and time spent with his friends and family following retirement. He continued farming with his son, Jonn, until the time of his death.
While living in Donnybrook, Don served on the Donnybrook City Council, was a member of the Donnybrook United Methodist Church, served on the Upper Souris Water Board, Donnybrook School Board and later served on the Ward County Farm Bureau Board when he and Cheryl moved to Minot in 2010. He was also a member of the Stanley American Legion.
Don joined the Army Reserve in his junior year of high school in 1961 and spent nine years serving his country. He was a sharp shooter and cook in the Army. His sharp shooting skills would later be used in his love of deer hunting over his 40 acre coulee just outside Donnybrook. He loved to tell stories of his many hunts. Don also enjoyed fishing at Lake Sakakawea, where he caught several "Whopper Club" walleye and enjoyed spending time with family and friends at the lake.
He spent many summers there and also touring the U.S. with his caring wife, Cheryl, on his Honda Gold Wing Motorcycle, with his brother, Larry, and his wife, Connie. Don was also known for always having a hot rod in the garage and was known as the Donnybrook "street duster" in the summer time. Donald enjoyed woodworking and made fine pieces of furniture and other items for family and friends. He could fix or build anything and never acknowledged the word can't.
Don raised two sons, Jerry and Jonn, and was always proud of his boys. He was a constant teacher and motivator. He loved his grandchildren and especially had a place for his granddaughters, Miranda, Mya, and Kate, as he had lost his only daughter, Tonie Marie, at birth. He enjoyed teaching and mentoring his grandson, Kole, out at the family farm.
Donald is survived by: his wife of 49 years, Cheryl Knecht, Minot; sons, Jerry Knecht, Minneapolis, Minn., and Jonn Knecht, Minot; brothers, James Knecht, Tony (Joan) Knecht, and Mike (Leanne) Knecht; sister, Rhonda (Don) Hollarn; grandchildren, Miranda, Mya, Kate and Kole Knecht; sisters-in-law, Connie Trapp and Audrey McIntrye; brother-in-law, Ron Haux; stepmother, Ruth Knecht; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Tonie Marie; parents, Otto and Hertha Knecht; and brother, Larry Knecht.
Funeral: Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. at Vincent United Methodist Church, Minot.
Visitation: Today, Dec. 5, from 2 to 7 p.m. at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot. The family will be receiving visitors from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the funeral home.
Vigil prayer service: Today at 7 p.m. at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home Chapel, Minot.
Burial: Friday, Dec. 7, at 10:30 a.m. at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Hurdsfield.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com