John Robert Knecht

August 2, 1923 ~ April 3, 2020 (age 96)


John "Bob" Robert Knecht, 96, passed away peacefully on April 3, 2020, at Madonna Towers in Rochester, MN.

Bob was born August 2, 1923 near Colome, South Dakota in Tripp County, to John and Edna (Clem) Knecht. In 1927, the family moved to Rapid City, SD, where Bob would go on to spend much of his childhood and adult life. After graduating from Rapid City High School in 1941, he went on to attend and graduate from Iowa State College in Ames, IA.

On June 14, 1946, Bob was married to Doris Margaret Hayenga at the First Congregational Church in Ames, IA. Their marriage was blessed with three children; David, Barbara, and Mark.

During his college years, Bob also served as a communications officer in the U.S. Maritime Service during World War II, sailing aboard ammunition ships all over the world. He achieved the rank of Ensign. Following the war, and with his degree in Architectural Engineering in hand, Bob went back to Rapid City to work with his father and brothers at Knecht Lumber Company, filling various roles throughout the years, including CEO of Knecht Industries between 1963 and 1979. Aside from his work with the family business, Bob devoted much of his time to the Rapid City community, joining several commissions and boards, as well as contributing to a plethora of philanthropical endeavors.

Having worn so many hats, Bob never shied away from giving advice, no matter the subject; his wisdom and knowledge were and forever will be cherished by friends and family alike.

Bob is survived by his son David and daughter-in-law Judy. At the time of his death, he had 5 grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Doris, son Mark, and daughter Barbara.

Memorial cards may be sent to Mahn Family Funeral Home, 1624 37th street NW, Rochester, MN 55901. Online condolences are welcome and may be written at

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