Harlan Lionel Knutson

May 26, 1929January 7, 2021

Strong in his faith, when the Lord called his name on Thursday, January 7, 2021, at the age of 91, Harlan was ready to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Preceded in death by his father Marlowe; mother Mabel; brothers, Norton, Sheldon, and Dean.

Survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Donna; children, Brian (Tricia), Brenda (Chris), stepdaughter, Laurie; grandchildren, Luke, Porter, Brielle, Calvin, Lee, and Lilly; sisters, Arlene & Donna; In-laws, Elaine, Jim, Almira, and LeRoy.

Born and raised in Clearbrook, MN Harlan left when he joined the Air Force in 1950. After proudly serving our country he settled in Minneapolis, MN. Meeting the love of his life Donna, in 1970, they married in 1971 and chose to raise their family in Brooklyn Center. Harlan enjoyed spending time with family, bowling, golfing, walking, puzzles, and sweets. In addition to being a kind, caring, and loving husband, father, and grandfather, Harlan had the biggest heart and truly was a friend to all. Shortly before passing he said it best when he said, “I love everyone”. He will be deeply missed by all those who had the great fortune to have been a part of his life.

A service for the immediate family will be held at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Brooklyn Park, MN on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 11AM. For those wishing to join, the service can be viewed live at

Additionally, a Celebration of Life will be held in the spring at Sunset Funeral Home, Minneapolis, MN.


  • Private Family Service

    Friday, January 15, 2021



Harlan Lionel Knutson

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Jeffrey Knutson

January 14, 2021

Harlan was the happiest man I ever knew. He was always smiling so genuinely. In all the pictures, he's grinning with my Dad. Though I never saw him in 1950 with his favorite car, that smile is exactly the same. Thanks for sharing, Harlan.

David Knutson

January 9, 2021

Ray and I were teenagers and hit a gold mine when we got to go through a bunch of old Air Force uniforms of Uncle Harlan and Dad. Some had to belong to Harlan because of the SSgt stripes which I had on my jean jacket for awhile. We got to wear some of the old wool long coats in during a good old fashioned winter in Minnesota with a lot of snow. The outfits kept us warm and we had a blast!
I was also stationed in Germany at Spangdahlem Air Base and Uncle Harlan was at Bitburg Air Base (10 miles from where I was stationed) so we travelled some of the same areas while in the military. These are only some of so many wonderful memories!