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Arthur Gutknecht, 1934-2019

Arthur “Art” Gutknecht, 85, of Albert Lea passed away Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, at Prairie Senior Cottages in Albert Lea. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Oct. 26 at St. Theodore Catholic Church. Visitation will begin one hour prior. The Rev. Kurt Farrell will officiate. Final disposition will occur at a later date, as Arthur’s family has honored his generous wish to bequest himself to the Mayo Clinic Anatomical Gift Program for the purpose of medical education, research and training.

Arthur Gutknecht

Art Gutknecht was born Aug. 6, 1934, in Waterloo, Iowa, to Harold and June (Weidlein) Gutknecht.

Following his graduation from high school, Art lived and worked in Hudson, Iowa. In 1957, Art would make his commitment to serve in the United States armed forces. Enlisting took him all over the globe, including some time in Indianapolis and more than two years in Stuttgart, Germany. He earned the rank of sergeant first class and worked with the U.S. Army Finance Corps, 13th F.D.S.

On Nov. 26, 1960, Art married Suzanne Lane in Waterloo. After his honorable discharge from the military that same year, his experience in financial management and accounting led him to achieve a Bachelor of Arts in business education from the University of Northern Iowa. He then did graduate work at UNI, while teaching college courses. His education continued in 1991, when he began a master’s program at the University of St. Thomas.

Involvement in sales and management brought Art and his family to Albert Lea in 1972. Art began work at Mead Containers as a sample maker, then salesman. He eventually worked his way up to manager of the Albert Lea, Waterloo and Fort Dodge, Iowa, locations.

In May 1983, Art founded Minnesota Corrugated Box Inc. He matured the company and sold interest, continuing work with marketing, training and consulting for MCB and Gold Country Marketing until his retirement.

Art was a member of St. Theodore Catholic Church in Albert Lea. He enjoyed biking, exercising, sailing boats and volunteering in the community. Art, on a resume from years past, stated his objective as “To utilize (his) skills and experience in a new environment, while continuing to learn.” This humble objective will be a great part of Art’s legacy. Art shared the power of knowledge and education with his children and grandchildren, and in his working years, fellow colleagues. Reliably, he empowered those around him to ascend to brave, new heights. His intentions of kindness, generosity and positivity are a force that will continue to make ripples for future years to come.

Art is survived by his wife of nearly 59 years, Suzanne Gutknecht; one son, Scott (Joni) Gutknecht, of Merrifield, and their children Megan (Thor) Greengard and Erin; and three daughters: Anne (Mike) Schreck of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and their children Anthony, Alexander, Caitlin (Adam) Faris and Lisa, Julie (Don) Savelkoul of Albert Lea and their children Sarah, Hannah and Michael, and Amy (Steve) Nelson of Rochester and their children Emily, Clare and Samuel. Art is also survived by his late daughter’s partner, Dr. Ann Kools, of Minneapolis; two brothers-in-law, Mike (Mary) Lane of Knoxville, Iowa, and Tim Lane of Des Moines, Iowa; and sister-in-law, Pat (Jim) Cain of Waterloo.

Art was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Keith Gutknecht; sister-in-law, Betty Schrock; and daughter, Sarah Gutknecht.