Vallene E. Knutson — Albert Lea

Funeral services for Vallene E. Knutson, 79, of Albert Lea, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 18, 2014, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church. The Rev. James Kassera will officiate. Interment will be at Lakewood Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home in Albert Lea, and one hour prior to the service at the church.

Online condolences are welcome at .

Vallene died Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Hope Hospice in Cape Coral, Fla., two weeks after suffering a severe stroke.

Vallene E. Knutson was born April 5, 1935, on a farm near Dexter, the daughter of Herbert and Sophie (Kietzer) Mees. Vallene grew up near Dexter and graduated from Elkton High School. After graduation, Val attended Mankato State College, earning a degree in elementary education. Val taught school in Byron for two years. On June 8, 1957, Vallene was united in marriage to Gerald Knutson at Trinity Lutheran Church in Dexter. They made their home in Albert Lea. Val taught for one year in Alden before taking a break to raise her family. Vallene later returned to teaching and taught third and fourth grades at Hawthorne Elementary in Albert Lea for many years. Val earned her master's degree in education from the University of Minnesota. She retired from teaching in 1997.

She was a member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church where she was active in the sewing and quilting group. She donated several quilts to raffle at the annual church bazaar. Val was a member of a Red Hat group where she organized many trips. She enjoyed sewing, quilting, hardanger, gardening, baking, golfing and was an avid Minnesota Twins fan. She especially enjoyed spending time with her family and attending her grandchildren's school and sporting events. Vallene was generous with her time and talents and believed in doing random acts of kindness. She touched many lives during her time on this earth.

Survivors include her husband, Gerald; children, Paul (Sue) Knutson of Mantorville, Cheri (John) Butler of Albert Lea and Rod (Sheila) Knutson of Olathe, Kan.; grandchildren, Aaron (Heather Kroening) Knutson, Casey (David) Berge, Riley Knutson, Jared (Julie) Butler, Brady, Piper and Sawyer Knutson; great-grandchildren, Kamryn Berge and Brooks Knutson; brother, Elvern (Beverly) Mees; and many brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.

Vallene was preceded in death by her parents; four grandchildren in infancy; brother, Wayne Mees; and sisters, Donna Mees in infancy and Marian Mees.