Paul was born April 23, 1928, in Roland, Iowa, the son of Ben and Selma (Erickson) Knudtson on April 23, 1928, and attended school there until moving to Dysart in 1944, where he graduated in 1946. He went immediately to Iowa State Teachers College (UNI) where he received a BA in 1949. Paul taught in LeClaire, Iowa, for one year before entering the U.S. Air Force where he became an officer.
Paul and Kathy Thompson were married June 2, 1951. He spent three years at Lackland AFB in San Antonio. Upon returning to Iowa, he taught and coached at Westside and Van Horne High Schools. He earned his MA from Iowa University in August 1957 and spent three summers working on a physical education degree at Indiana University. From 1957-1975, Paul was a teacher, coach, and athletic director at Westmar College in Le Mars.
Two of Paul's proudest achievements were to play in the state baseball tournament with Roland in 1944, and to coach his Westmar basketball team to the NAIA basketball tournament in Kansas City. He was selected as Chairman of District 15 (Iowa) of the NAIA in 1969, and held that position along with his Westmar responsibilities until 1975 when he moved to Cedar Rapids to pursue a career in Insurance.
He was a 50-year member of the Lions Club, having served as a zone chairman. He was a member of The Legion, Elks Club, and Phi Epsilon Kappa, a physical education fraternity.
Paul had a lifelong interest in, and was a participant in sports, especially baseball, basketball, and golf. He also was very musical, having sung in high school, college, musicals, church choirs and solos. His high school athletic teams will remember him teaching them "Shanty Town" on the bus on the way home if they won a game.
After retirement, Paul and Kathy spent the winters in Florida, San Antonio, and Arizona, where he played a lot of golf. He was an avid University of Iowa, and ISTC (UNI) sports fan. He also enjoyed the second cup of coffee at the Spring House with the table of sports fans.
Survivors include his wife, Kathy (Thompson) Knudtson; a daughter, Kari (Steve) Jones of Chatham, Ill.; a son, Jeff (Mary) Knudtson of Oconomowoc, Wis.; and four grandchildren, Benjamin and Jon Knudtson, Connor and Tyler Jones.
Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Saturday at First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids with the Rev. Dr. Kay M. Slocum officiating. The family will greet friends two hours before the service at the church. Private family burial at a later date. Arrangements are by Murdoch Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Marion.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids or a charity of your choice.
Please sign the online guest book for Paul at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.