Gerald Knop, 87

Gerald “Jerry” Richard Knop passed away peacefully Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, at the Annandale Care Center.

A memorial service will take place Monday, January 10, 2022 at 11 a.m., with visitation one hour prior, at Zion Lutheran Church in Annandale.

Serving the family is the Peterson Chapel of Buffalo, 763-682-1363, www.thepetersonchapel.com.

Gerald “Jerry” Richard Knop was born July 5, 1934, to Richard and Mamie (Krause) Knop of Delano.

Jerry graduated from Delano High School in 1952, and throughout his life loved playing and watching sports, especially baseball.

In 1954, Jerry enlisted in the Army National Guard and was part of a tank battalion. He was never deployed, but served on active duty for three years.

Jerry worked at Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association for several years trimming trees, and eventually moved on to work for the Wright County Highway Maintenance Department until suffering a life altering injury that rendered him with a permanently disabled foot.

After working predominantly manual labor jobs most of his life, Jerry had to find a less physically demanding job after the accident, which led him to a career and a company that sparked his passion for selling promotional advertising products through Bankers Advertising Company (BAC).

He often said his business was to sell things that tell people “who you are and what you do.”

When Jerry’s health no longer allowed him to continue after a 37-year career, he continued to follow the business and his clients through his daughter, Sheila, who took over his business when he retired in 2018.

Jerry was often referred to as the friendly “pen guy” or the “keychain guy” throughout the community, and no distance was too far to travel visiting and serving his customers.

Jerry’s business was personal to him because he considered each and every customer a friend. Jerry continued asking about them, and the people he worked with at BAC, right up until the last few days before his death.

When not working, Jerry enjoyed playing and listening to music, especially old-time classic music, because he played accordion and piano for most of his life. He even played in three different bands of his own over the years, often playing at barn dances and other dance halls throughout the area, specializing in playing a variety of waltzes and polkas.

Other hobbies included fishing, playing cribbage, and spending as much time as possible with family and many friends.

In 1956, it was through a friend he played baseball with that he met the love of his life, Pearl Sandbakken of Boyd, MN. They were married June 7, 1958, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Boyd, and together they had six children: Kevin, Neil, Deb, Pam, Sheila, and Nancy.

Jerry loved telling the story of how they named their children with the first letter of each child’s name representing a letter in the Knop name, with the “D” representing the “O” and when put together it spells “Knop,s” but the “N” meant “no more (kids).”

Jerry was deeply devoted to God, his family, and especially Pearl, who he often referred to as “the gem of the family.”

When his kids and eventually grandchildren were in sports, choir, and band, Jerry would do his best to attend as many activities as possible and he was as dedicated of a fan as they come.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Mamie.

He is survived by his wife, Pearl; sons, Kevin (Cheri) Knop, Neil Knop; daughters, Pam (Paul) Nemes, Deb (David) Sweeney, Sheila Knop LaPlant, Nancy (Brad) Eaddy; sister, Marlys (John) Eggen; grandchildren, Sandra (JD) Palm, Nathan (Melinda) Knop, Jonathon Knop, Jackie (Nate) Couette, Annie Knop, Katie (Todd) Durnin, Justin Sweeney, Chelsea Nieland, Ashley Nemes, Candice Nemes, Tristan (Rachel) LaPlant, Carly LaPlant; great-grandchildren, Simon and Clara Palm, Jonah and Selah Knop, Tucker, Cooper, and Graylie Couette, Addie Hunt, Louie Durnin, and Madilynn and Raiden Nieland; as well as a great many other extended relatives and friends.

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