Richard Maurice Knudson 64, of Harlowton died Thursday evening, June 18th, 2020, he was born to Kenneth M. and Dortha E. Knudson March 29, 1956. He was the youngest of four boys and was raised in Harlowton. Rich graduated from Harlowton High School in 1974. While in high school, he was proud to have been selected as a member of the FFA National Band. Shortly thereafter, he went to work for the Milwaukee Railroad, during which time he took numerous speedwriting and shorthand courses.  

During Rich’s first few years of working on the Milwaukee, Susan square-danced her way into his life and he waited very patiently for her to say “yes”. They were married June 24, 1978 in Big Timber, Montana. They planted roots in Harlowton and raised three children, who were the center of his world.  

After six years of working on the Milwaukee Road, Rich was fortunate to work for Golden Sunshine Honey, owned by Larry and Cherrel Budge. Rich truly enjoyed learning all aspects of beekeeping.   His love for honey harvest continued well beyond those six years, as he continued to raise bees, harvest, and share his own infamous Knudson Honey with his children, grandchildren, and their friends.

Six years after immersing himself in the beekeeping world, Rich became a janitor for the Harlowton schools. He enjoyed being spoiled by the cooks and loved to keep others on their toes with his practical jokes.

Tired of his six-year plan, Rich took a leap of faith and ventured into business for himself “doing anything for a buck”. Carpentry was his pride and joy. His precision and artistic talent with

woodworking was perfection. His hard work, dedication, and love is evident throughout all his work, from small fix-it jobs to remodeling and woodworking. Rich took pride in everything he did and rarely trusted others to finish what he started. Susan was extremely blessed to work alongside him throughout the years and enjoyed the personal connections Rich encountered during his jobs.

Rich was steadfastly involved in the community. In recent years, he retired from the volunteer fire department after 30 years; however, he continued to put in his time. He was also a member of the Harlowton Jaycees, the American Lutheran Church, the Milwaukee Depot Museum, and the Mussellshell Mudcat Dixieland Band. Rich became involved in the annual Kiwanis Show when he was in high school and has participated in the Kiwanis Show every year since. Rich had a desire and willingness to help others, and never hesitated to volunteer and help out those in need.

     Rich was whole-heartedly a good man. His unwavering love for his family and friends was undeniable. He was a true family man and has always been happiest when he was in the presence of his three children (and later on, grandchildren) working on his jobs and building projects, playing music together, or spending time in the great outdoors. Rich lived life through steadfast faith and love, as well as laughter. Rich lived in the moment and his philosophy for life was “we’ll figure it out.” Rich was sure to always highlight the two possible outcomes for anything: “well…either it will or it won’t”. He taught his family the virtue of patience, as he would strike up a conversation anywhere and with anyone he met, while his family sat and waited in the pick-up truck with his door ajar, hoping to progress things along a bit faster. His children grew accustomed to using “elbow grease” and putting a bit more effort into what they did.

Rich is survived by his wife of 41 years, Susan, and their three children, Colleen of Lockwood, Jill (Troy) of Coeur d’Alene, ID, and Kevin of Harlowton; grandchildren Ashton, Kenzie, Wyatt, Quinn and Wylie dog (“Fire 2 ½”); his brother, Gary of Spokane; his mother-in-law, Shirley Esp of Big Timber; his sister-in-law, Jan of Billings, and an abundance of nieces, nephews, and extended family whose respect and adoration he earned.

Rich is preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Dortha Knudson, brothers Robert and Jim Knudson, and father-in-law Jim Esp.

     Memorial services for Richard M. Knudson will be held on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 10:00am at the Wheatland County Fairgrounds with committal to follow at the Harlowton Cemetery. Luncheon and reception will follow at Chief Joseph Park. Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

     Thank you, Rich/Dad/Grandpa/Uncle, for being the best example of living life to the fullest, enjoying every moment, and going with the flow. You were an exceptional leader, teacher, confidant, friend, and role model. Thank you for being our sunshine, in every way. May your smile continue to shine radiantly as you look over us from above.

     Friends are asked to make memorials to the Wheatland County Fire Department, Milwaukee Depot Museum, or ACS Yellowstone County Relay For Life or to the charity of their choice be sent to PO Box 179, Harlowton, MT 59036 or they may be left with the Perkins Funeral Home, PO Box 313 Harlowton, MT 59036. Condolences for the family may be posted on-line at www.perkinsfuneralandcremation.com

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