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Lorraine Knutson, 86

Lorraine E. Knutson, 86, of Elmwood, formerly of Durand, passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

She was born Nov. 20, 1926, in La Crosse, Wis., to Mathilda (Newberg) and Walter Amundson.

Lorraine graduated from Aquinas High School in La Crosse. She married Leonard Knutson on July 12, 1947. They lived in La Crosse, Chippewa Falls, and Durand, Wis., as well as, in Wells, Minn. They retired in Wells after Leonard completed 43 years as an agent with the Milwaukee Road (CMSTP&P) and Soo Line Railroads. In retirement, Lorraine and Len loved to travel with their camper and bicycles in tow, especially to Branson, Mo. She and Len also loved to vacation in Hawaii with Len's brother Bob and his wife Bev - frequent traveling companions.

Lorraine was an easy-going person who was always cheerful and loved doing things for other people. She was active in her children's lives as a homeroom parent at school, a Girl Scout Leader, a member of the PTA, and a chaperone for school field trips. As a devout Catholic, she was also active in her church in the Ladies Altar Society and CFM (Christian Family Movement).

She loved music and had a special fondness for Irish tunes (When Irish Eyes Are Smiling and Oh, Danny Boy) and church music (Ave Maria, Panis Angelicus, and Amazing Grace). She enjoyed volunteering at the hospital in Wells and at the school there where she would read to the first and second grade students.

Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were very special to her and will miss her very much. Her family will always be proud of the legacy of love and service that defined her life.

Survivors include 2 sons, Richard (Mary Kay) of Keller, Texas, and John (Rose) of Hudson, Wis.; 7 daughters, Mary Lynn (Ken) Smith of The Woodlands, Texas, Kay (Don) Hartung of Eau Galle, Wis., Pat Ross of Minneapolis, Barb (Tim) Heffernan of Durand, Nancy (Steve) Hoeser or Burke, Va., Carol (Andr) Bergeron of Minneapolis, Beth (Jim) Knutson-Kolodzne of St. Cloud, Minn.; a sister, Anita Amundson of La Crosse; 25 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

Lorraine was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard, and her daughter, Lori Ann (Knutson) Stewart, both in 2006.

Funeral Services was held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, at St. Mary's Assumption Church in Durand, Wis., with the Fr. Raj Arockiam officiating. Inurnment will be in the Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Eau Claire at a later date.

Friends were invited to call from 4-7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, at Rhiel Funeral Home in Durand, and one hour prior to the service Tuesday at the church. Memorials if desired may be made to the Alzheimer's Association in Lorraine's name.

Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Durand, is serving the family.

Condolences may be made online at

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