LeRoy Kermit Knutson of Springfield, Virginia, passed away on Monday, August 28, 2017, at age 80. He was born in Illinois and grew up in Midland, Michigan. Lee received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University.
He was selected by the International Voluntary Service, the precursor to the Peace Corps, to serve two years in Liberia, Africa. His job was to build what the tribal leaders decided would improve the quality of life of the villagers. Upon returning to the US, he enrolled in graduate school and earned a Master’s Degree in International Development.
Lee wanted to find ways to help people consider what they needed to live a healthier lifestyle and then, by working with them, help them to achieve their goals. His dream came true when was hired by the Agency for International Development (AID) to go to the Philippines where he lived and worked for the better part of ten years. He then returned to the United States to work for the State Department: American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA).
Lee had a passion for his retirement property in West Virginia which bordered the Monongahela National Forest. He designed and (along with many friends and family members) built a cabin and a “summer kitchen” fashioned after the kind he had seen in the villages in Liberia. Many wonderful visits were spent at this retreat.
He is survived by his wife, Linda Pierce Knutson, of 23 years. He is also survived by his brother, Carl O. (Linda) Knutson, M.D.; his former wife and the mother of his children, Barbara J. Knutson; his three children: Ann Knutson (Keith) Parrish of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; David Knutson (Kathy Melanson) of Arlington, Virginia; John (Jennifer) Knutson and their children (Kyle and Tyler Knutson) of Bristow, Virginia; his two step-children: Christopher (Leeza) Pierce and their children (Sasha and Anya Pierce) of Carmel Valley, California; and Lisa Pierce (Thomas) Harnisch and their children (Grace and Eleanor Harnisch) of New City, New York.