Cover photo for Ann Knudson's Obituary
1952 Ann 2024

Ann Knudson

August 6, 1952 — June 12, 2024


Ann Knudson, age 71, died of a heart attack on June 12, 2024 doing what she loved—sitting up late at night and reading one of the thousands of books in her home. 

Ann’s memorial service will be held at Eastgate Funeral Home at 11:30 AM on Wednesday, June 19, 2024 followed by interment at the North Dakota Veteran’s Cemetery in Mandan at 1:00 PM. 

Ann was born in Richland Washington on August 6, 1952, the third of four children, born to Nan and Cornelius Groot. Ann’s family relocated to Schenectady, New York where Ann grew up. She enrolled at the State University of New York at Syracuse. In 1973, during her junior year in college, Ann met Mike Knudson through their mutual involvement in the college’s Outing Club. Ann graduated with a degree in environmental studies in 1974 and upon graduation travelled to Georgia to begin hiking north on the Appalachian Trail. Mike joined her in Roanoke, Virginia in August. having completed his teaching assistant responsibilities at the college. Together they continued to hike north. When they reached the half-way point on the trail, they stopped and got married. Mike and Ann invited both sets of parents to attend the ceremony and family members came. But now it was September and getting cold, so the couple took a bus to Mt. Katahdin in Maine to begin hiking south. This was slower walking as their backpacks now contained winter gear. When they began to run into ice and snow near the New Hampshire border, they decided to end their hike. Mike still had a thesis to write to complete his degree, so the couple returned to Syracuse. 

Mike joined the Soil Conservation Service upon graduation and found employment in North Dakota. The couple first lived in Wahpeton, then in Lisbon, finally moving to Bismarck in 1986. While in Lisbon, Ann enlisted in the US Air Force and traveled to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas for basic training. She then became a member of the National Guard, proudly serving in that branch of the military for 28 years, and retiring with the rank of Sergeant in 2012. 

In her spare time Ann assisted with the Gifted and Talented program at her sons’ grade school, was active in the Three Crowns Swedish Association, the Westerner’s organization, and MENSA. She did a lot of volunteer work at the church, for the Humane Society, and for the Water Protectors at Standing Rock. She and Mike also co-authored 2 books on North Dakotans who participated in World War I. She was an organ donor, and her corneas were harvested at St. Alexius for transplant into someone in need of them for improved vision. 

Ann is survived by her husband Mike, her two sons William (Bismarck) and Robert (Kristen) and their sons Griffin and Phoenix (St Louis), her two brothers Peter and Harold Groot (San Jose), and Mike’s three sisters Kathryn, Mary and Susan (Wisconsin). She was predeceased by her parents and older sister Pauline, and by Mike’s parents. 

In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation in Ann’s memory to the Central Dakota Humane Society, 2104 37th Street, Mandan, ND, the North Dakota Historical Society Foundation, PO Box 1976, Bismarck, ND 58502, or to a military charity of your choice. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ann Knudson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Starts at 11:30 am (Central time)

Eastgate Funeral & Cremation Service

2302 East Divide Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58501

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

North Dakota Veterans Cemetery

1825 46th St, Mandan, ND 58554

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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