Henry Olav Christian Knaust

March 11, 1951May 11, 2019

Henry O.C. Knaust, 68, passed away May 11, 2019, at his home in Ventura, CA. Hank was a devoted husband, married 40 years to the love of his life Carol. He was a loving father to Brooke & Brian Milton and Ashley & Paul Ramsey and a devoted grandfather to Brinley, Lauren & Blakely.

Hank is survived by his parents Henry E. Knaust ( Donna ) of Naples, FL and Reidun Jones ( Rev. Thomas ) of Columbia, IL.

Hank was dearly loved and admired by his brother Eric and his sisters Laurel, Wendy, Martha and Anne-Marie. After moving to Ventura from Illinois over 40 years ago, he managed the Dole Mushroom Farm and later owned and operated his own canning company with pride and integrity.

Hank was a man of deep faith and served with honor as an elder of Grace Lutheran Church for several years. He touched many lives in the community and he will be deeply missed.

A Memorial Service will be held at Grace Lutheran Church in Ventura on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at 2:00 in the afternoon. In lieu of flowers, the family would like to have any donations go to Grace Lutheran Church or Buena Vista Hospice Care.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, May 18, 2019


Henry Olav Christian Knaust

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Mike Cheney

May 24, 2019

Hard to express how sorry I am with Hank passing. Carol, Hank's daughters ,grandchildren, siblings and parents all have my deepest sympathy.

I have so many memories of growing up with Hank. We met in Kindergarten, both wet our pants in a Khoury league All-Star game at breezy hill when we were 7. Me, at 2nd base in the top of the first, Hank in the middle of the second in the bathroom of breezy hill when he couldn't get the buttons undone on his uniform. Thanks Hank, made me feel much better. Also got the 100mph trip to Valmeyer with Mr. Knaust and a 50mph motorcycle ride in the cave with Hank and me in the cart behind the motorcycle. Mr. Knaust would turn the light off and you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. All you could hear was Mr. Knaust laughing and Hank and I screaming. Hank built a wooden go-kart with rope steering that we sat in and launched off of the biggest hill we could find in Valmeyer. Rope broke immediately-we must have looked like one of those old silent movies with no steering. We were confirmed together and about two weeks after we were sitting in the balcony of the old church and had a bag of M&M's explode upon opening. They went down the stairs and through the railing to the downstairs seating area. I won't say whose M&M's they were, but they weren't mine. We played sports together, bowled in league together, boarded our horses together(remember Tony) and Hank was at my house when we were grown, every night for several years. He was welcome every single time. I'll always remember and think of Hank often.

Just wanted to add that Mrs. Knaust was the nicest Mom of any Mom that I knew. Thanks for how nice you always were to me.


Robert Eshom

May 23, 2019

Hanks dad, Henry E. Knaust, hired my dad in 1954 to operate the spawn plant in his newly opened mushroom farm in Valmeyer, Il. Eventually, as Hank became capable, he began showing up at the mushroom farm, working at any and all positions. He was uncommonly mature and respectful toward all the employees. I lost track of Hank when I left for the service, then heard he was indeed in California, still in the mushroom growing industry. I'm not surprised to read the glowing accounts in his obituary.

david shilliday

May 20, 2019

So sorry to hear about Hanks passing. Its tough for all , especially parents to bury a child.... Hank and I lived across the street in Waterloo in early 50's. Went to school K-12, cub scouts, basketball and even let a campfire get out of control and almost burned down the woods behind Knausts home route 3.
Henry was gracious enough to give me my first W2 job at the mushroom farm.on the weekends.And even more gracious for Henry and Hank to give me a ride to and from Valmeyer . doing 100mph on the route 156 in the cady was quite a treat.
Sadly, when he moved to California , we lost touch ... Nice to see he was a deacon in the church.. Never thought the lesson from Pastor Bassler would take with Hank and Rip, but they did..
Best to Carol and the family , Hanks parents and siblings.
Rest in peace buddy
David Shilliday 3526 Bridgewood dr Jacksonville Florida 32277