Dr. Helen A. Knutt, 83, retired Veterinarian of Rocklake and Cando, passed away on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, at the Towner County Medical Center in Cando, ND. A visitation will be held on Monday, September 6, 2021, from 5pm to 7pm, with a 7pm prayer service at the Dunnigan-Dix Funeral Home in Cando. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, at 1pm at All Nations Lutheran Church in Rocklake, with Rev. Scott Ramey officiating. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the funeral service at the church with lunch to follow in the church basement. Following lunch, a burial will take place at the Arndt Cemetery, located in rural Rocklake.
Memorials are preferred to the All Nations Lutheran Church in Rock Lake, ND.
Helen Anne Hartwick was born in a house in Blue Earth, MN, 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 7 children. After graduating 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 stenographer, then as a claims representative.
On January 2nd, 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, Helen 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.
Helen came to Devils Lake, ND, 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 Helen 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.
Helen 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. Helen 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, Helen 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.
Helen 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 3 granddaughters' activities that she could.
Helen is survived by daughters Gail (Mrs.Terry) Harder, Munich, ND, and Marty (Mrs. Curtis) Larson, New Rockford, ND; granddaughters Casey June (Mrs. Luke) Weston, Rolla, ND; Coty Mae Harder (fiance of Michael Kraft), Grand Forks, ND; and Olivia Rose Larson, New Rockford, ND; sister Mary O. Monical, Pontiac, IL; sister-in-law Marcy (Mrs. Jerry) Frye, Minot, ND; 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 6 nieces and nephews.