Harold W. "Harry" Knust
Funeral services for Harold William "Harry" Knust, 78, of Chamberlain, SD will be 10:00 am Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at St. James Catholic Church in Chamberlain with burial in the Riverview Cemetery at Chamberlain. Visitation will be at 1:00-4:00 pm on Tuesday, January 7th at Hickey Funeral Chapel. Rosary and a scripture service will be at 7:00 pm at St. James Catholic Church.
Harry was born on October 7, 1935 in Howells, NE to Conrad and Loretta (Limbach) Knust. He grew up on a farm and attended Howells High School before earning a bachelor's degree in business administration at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He was a lifelong Husker and loved all things "Big Red", especially the football team, and encouraged other to be Huskers as well.
He married Patricia Louise Wurnig on October 10, 1959. After Harrys stints with the Pillsbury Company in Mason City, IA and Grand Island, NE, they made their home in Chamberlain in 1963 where Harry first managed and then purchased Chamberlain Water Company which later became Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company. Harry owned and operated Pepsi until 1994.
In 1971, Harry bought the Schlitz beer distributorship in Winner which he sold in 1978. In 1980, he bought Cle-Kal Chevrolet-Oldsmobile in Chamberlain and named it Harry K Chevrolet. From then on he became known as "Harry K". He later added the Buick and Pontiac franchises. He bought the Ford, Mercury and Lincoln store and NAPA store in Winner in 1987. Harry was known for his innovative car dealership ads on radio and television.
He served as a Chamberlain city commissioner from 1966 to 1978. He was appointed to several statewide boards by Governor Frank Farrar and Senator Jim Abdnor. He served as President of the Pepsi Cola Bottler's Association of North and South Dakota and as President of the South Dakota Soft Drink Association. He also served on the Chevrolet Dealer Council.
Harry started the Chamberlain Chamber of Commerce in 1963. He was honored as "Man of the Year" by the Chamberlain business community that same year. He was recognized by many local organizations over the years.
He was a member of St. James Catholic Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He taught religious education for 9 years. He co-founded and coached in the Inter-City basketball league for many years.
Harry loved visiting with customers and friends (he considered all his customers his friends). He especially enjoyed meeting young members of the Chamberlain and Winner areas. He was a great supporter of all youth programs. He was the PA announcer for Chamberlain Cubs basketball games from 1963-1992.
He loved to golf and play cards. Harry also loved college basketball and traveled to a dozen Final Four basketball tournaments over the years. He enjoyed travelling with Pat. They spent their winters in Arizona.
Harrys wife and family came first. Grandpa Harry loved his grandchildren and enjoyed attending their events and activities. Those who knew him best will miss his spirited laugh, his ability to live in the moment, his affection for life and his gift for making everyone in his presence feel welcome.
Harry passed away at the Good Samaritan Home in Sioux Falls on January 3. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Pat, a son Doug (Judy) Knust, Chamberlain; and two daughters, Christine Linn, Chicago; and Lisa (Randy) Ulmer, Hartford; and five grandchildren; Rachel (Andrew) Millard, Washington, DC; Michael (Rosy) Ulmer and Alex Knust, Sioux Falls; Matthew Ulmer, Hartford; and Sarah Knust, Chamberlain. He is also survived by two sisters; Elaine (Ervin) Bazata, Surprise, AZ and Janelle (Kenneth) Hirsch, Alamo, CA. He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers: Donald, Melvin and Ronald.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. James Catholic Church, 400 S Main St., Chamberlain, SD 57325.