Thomas L. Knudsen, 84

Published 3:27 pm Friday, December 17, 2021

Thomas L. Knudsen, 84

Thomas L. Knudsen, 84 of St. Ansgar, Iowa, left us on a dangerous stormy night to find rest in heaven at 9:00 pm on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, with his son by his side. He closely followed his best buddy, Eldon Bruggeman to heaven with funerals only 15 days apart.

Thomas Leroy was born November 6, 1937 in Albert Lea, Minnesota to Anders and Ingeborg (Kallesen) Knudsen. He lived on the same farm for 80 years. He graduated from Lyle High School in 1956 and attended six months of farm school at the University of Minnesota.

Tom married Ann Haugen on September 14, 1958 and they had three children together, Anders, James and Ruth. Ann preceded him in death on May 28, 1989. He married Helen Bless on January 1, 1991 and she died suddenly. After a few years, he met and married a “city gal from Austin”, Elta Heichel on July 14, 2001.

Tom had a heart of gold. He was very soft spoken and a man of few words. He loved to dance to a good polka, always smiling as he danced across the floor. Tom enjoyed to get in the car and travel throughout the United States in the winter months, sometimes gone for eight weeks at a time. He loved to see new parts of America; always ready for a new adventure.

For many years, Tom loved to bowl and his teammates were very important to him. He had so many interests in life, but being a farmer was number one. He loved to plant, watch crops grow and looked forward to being on the combine to bring the crops home.

He loved his family so very much and included his step-children and their families in his love. He experienced many new things with Elta’s family and was even a good fisherman. Tom was well loved by his whole family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Anders and Ingeborg Knudsen; his first wife, Ann Haugen Knudsen; second wife, Helen Bless Knudsen; father and mother-in-law, Harold and Irene Sanvick.

Tom is survived by his wife, Elta Knudsen of Austin; children, Anders (Cindy) Knudsen of St. Ansgar, Iowa, James (Kim) Knudsen of St. Ansgar, Iowa, and Ruth (Joe) Smillie of Faribault, Minnesota; grandchildren, Andrea, Matthew, Kristen, Amy, Kayla, Mary, Emillie, Benjamin, Nathan, Kelly and Bethany; 12 great grandchildren; step-children, Thadd (Kathy) Heichel of Lakeville, Minnesota, Christopher Heichel of Mankato, Minnesota , and Jane Seid of Rochester; step-grandchildren, Chase, Madison, Isaac, Benjamin, and Samuel; twin step great grandchildren; Helen Bless Knudsen’s family, nieces, nephews and many friends.

The family would like to thank the Good Samaritan Care Center and St. Croix Hospice for the wonderful care they provided. No one likes to go the nursing home, but Tom enjoyed the friends he made there.

We all loved him so. God bless his memory and all the smiles he freely gave. “See you later” Tom.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Lyle with Reverend Scott Meyer and Reverend Barbara Finley-Shea officiating. Interment will follow at Six Mile Grove Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Tuesday morning from 9:30 to 11:00 am prior the service, at church. Clasen Jordan Mortuary is handling arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family at