Posted on Jan 02, 2020
Our fellow Rotarian and friend, David Knutson, 39, passed away unexpectedly on December 16th at his home.

Born in La Crosse on May 2, 1980, David graduated from Logan High School in 1999 and Western Wisconsin Technical College in 2002. During his professional career, he was employed at RadioShack, Kaplan Professional, and UnitedHealthcare.

Dave joined Rotary After Hours in December 2014 and was an active member who was always a “yes” man in our club for the past five years. He particularly thrived through the efforts our club dedicated to the youth in our community and around the world. He committed a weekend every year to be a counselor at Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), providing, guidance and leadership to students who were looking to become leaders like him. Dave was an Interact Advisor and served on our Youth Committee as a Youth Exchange Counselor. He also sat on the Coulee Region Youth Exchange Council, which supported efforts for Youth Exchange throughout the Coulee Region.

Dave co-chaired our Mini Masters fundraiser every year with Stefanie Kline. He helped raise thousands of dollars to help our club continue to support and participate in youth exchange activities.

Stef reflected, “Dave always helped with Mini Masters behind the scenes. He handled all the sponsorship forms and payments; kept our records and logos updated. He was the 'tech computer guy' because he knew way more about computer things than me! I will miss texting with him to go over details and working with him. It won’t be the same without him.”

Dave was also the Volunteer Coordinator for our Ugly Sweater 5k, filling the important role of recruiting 100+ volunteers needed for the event.

“He was always there to help out with whatever needed to be done,” recalls Ashley Santolin.

Dave also organized RAH’s Fantasy Football league every season, giving back the proceeds to a non-profit of the winner’s choosing.

We will always remember Dave as a smart, competitive, caring person with a fanatical love of the Chicago Bears and Cubs. He played in several kickball leagues and enjoyed leading numerous trivia teams to victory. In his free time, he also volunteered for the HorseSense organization.

“He had such a good heart and truly lived the Rotary motto of ‘Service Above Self,'” said Laura Hundt.

We will miss Dave, his friendship, his selfless dedication to Rotary and the impact he made on others.

A floral arrangement was sent to the Knutson Family on behalf of Rotary After Hours. To honor Dave and his passion for youth, the board is working on establishing a sponsorship fund that would allow a student to attend RYLA annually in his name. Dave talked about RYLA all the time and looked forward to that weekend for the entire year. We would like to honor his memory by sharing the experience with others. Details on how you can support this sponsorship endowment will be made available soon.