Cover photo for Gary Edward Knabe's Obituary
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1939 Gary 2021

Gary Edward Knabe

May 31, 1939 — October 14, 2021

Rev. Gary Knabe, 82, Grand Forks, N.D., died Thursday, Oct. 14, in his home surrounded by his loving family.

Gary was born Gary Ray Godfrey in Chicago, IL on May 31, 1939. He lived in a Lutheran orphanage until the fifth grade when he was adopted by Edward “Bud” and Mildred Knabe. He was then named Gary Edward Knabe and lived with the Knabes in Rock Falls, IL. He graduated from Rock Falls High School and Northern Illinois University, where he ran cross country. After college, he graduated from Wartburg Seminary. Gary interned in Spokane, WA where he met Vickie Cann and were later married on June 2, 1968.

Gary served Ambrose Lutheran parish in ND including Ambrose, Trinity, and Twin Butte Lutheran churches; Kathryn Lutheran parish, including Kathryn, Waldheim, and Nordheim Lutheran churches; Wolford Lutheran parish including Wolford, Mylo, and Ox Creek Lutheran churches; and Petersburg and Dahlen Lutheran churches until 2012 when he suffered a massive stroke ending his 44 years in the ministry. Gary even liked to use his puppet “Dudley Dog” in his sermons. He was inducted to the Northern Illinois University’s “Hall of Fame” for his participation on the Cross-Country running team.

Gary and Vickie live in Grand Forks, ND. Gary was a certified scuba diver and was called upon for recovery missions. He loved reading, curling, camping, traveling, raiding the church kitchens during potlucks, and loved spending time with family. Despite their busy schedules, Gary and Vickie attended literally hundreds of musical and sporting events of their children and grandchildren.

Gary is survived by his wife of 53 years, Vickie; sons, Timothy (Stephanie) of Grand Forks, ND, and Jason of Spokane, WA and grandchildren, Kaden and Keira Knabe of Grand Forks, ND.

God knew that Gary’s body was getting tired. The years of running cross country, running to up to three churches every Sunday, and his stroke certainly took its toll. Vickie was his caregiver 24/7 for the last 9 ½ years. He is enjoying his new heavenly body and running the streets of Gold in Heaven.

A private funeral service will be held.

Interment will be at Memorial Park South Cemetery in Grand Forks, ND.

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