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Klass Otto Knottnerus

Died: Tue., Nov. 22, 2011

- Service details not available -


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July 13, 1920 - Nov. 22, 2011

STEVENSVILLE - Otto was born Klaas Otto Knottnerus on July 13, 1920, on a dairy farm in Zuidbroek, Gronigen, the Netherlands. He was the middle of five children - two older brothers, a younger brother and a younger sister. He lived in Holland during the Nazi occupation, and was involved in the Dutch underground resistance.

In 1948, Otto and his younger brother, Leonard, after having applied for immigration to Argentina, Canada and the U.S., were accepted for immigration to the U.S., with a sponsor in eastern Montana - another Dutchman named Eizo Broesder.

Otto and Leonard arrived by propeller-driven airplane in 1948 in Great Falls. They arrived with $7 between them, raincoats and poor English.

Otto and Leonard worked for Mr. Broesder for some time, and then decided to try their luck in Southern California. After struggling to make a living in Southern California by picking oranges and milking cows, Otto and Leonard returned to eastern Montana. Mr. Broesder then gave his fellow Dutchmen an opportunity, selling them approximately 5,000 acres of uncultivated range land located approximately 16 miles outside of Big Sandy, and including acreage along the Missouri River in Virgelle.

Over the next several months, Otto and Leonard worked, sometimes around the clock -with Otto running the tractor for 12 hours followed by Leonard for the next 12 hours- to break up and put into agricultural production approximately 3,500 acres, enabling them to obtain bank financing, and pay off their debt to Mr. Broesder.

Over the succeeding years, Otto and Leonard further developed their land with a cattle operation consisting of approximately 250 acres of flood-irrigated alfalfa, three large silos and a feedlot operation with 1,400-1,800 calves.

Meanwhile, Otto did not let hard work get in the way of his pursuit of his love life. In December 1956, Otto traveled to Long Island, N.Y., to court his future bride, Cornelia Vlyjm. Otto had previously met Corrie in Holland while on a return visit in 1955. He was so smitten with Corrie that he followed her travels and then pursued her in Long Island. Corrie had also immigrated and was working as a governess on Long Island. It was in the winter before Otto and Leonard had started their cattle operation. Otto took a trip to Long Island, found a part-time gardening job there, courted Corrie, and ultimately convinced her to move with him to eastern Montana and marry him.

In March 1957, Otto and Corrie arrived by train in Havre. They were married in Big Sandy on May 5, 1957. Over the succeeding years, Otto and Corrie were blessed with three sons, Hank, Wilfred and John.

Meanwhile, Leonard had also married a Dutch girl, Lynn Kimm, who had immigrated to Manhattan, Mont. Leonard and Lynn were also blessed with a son, Carl; a daughter, Dixie; and a son, Brent. Unfortunately, Lynn passed away in 1969, and Leonard subsequently passed away in 1978.

Shortly before Leonard's death, Otto and Leonard sold the farm. Otto, Corrie, Dixie, John and Brent moved to Stevensville, while the rest of the children returned to studies at various universities.

Over the next 34 years, Otto and Corrie lived their lives together in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley, making many new and cherished friendships.

Otto worked for several years at the Bitterroot Stockfarm and also worked other local ranches before he retired. Dixie, John and Brent graduated from Stevensville High School before also leaving to attend university.

Over the succeeding years, Otto and Corrie enjoyed retirement, traveled and were frequently visited by their kids and grandchildren, whom Otto cherished immensely.

In the evening of Nov. 22, 2011, Otto, at the age of 91, passed away peacefully in the arms of his loving wife, Corrie.

Otto was a Christian and a man of strong faith his entire life. He deeply understood God's gift of salvation through the death and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ, through whom death is not the end, but only the beginning. Of this, Otto was fond of saying "my battle is won." Yes Otto, your battle is won.

A funeral service for Otto will be held at 11  a.m.  Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the First Lutheran Church, 2808 South Ave. W. in Missoula. A reception will follow the service in the church's fellowship hall. Interment will be in Riverside Cemetery in Stevensville following the reception.



Read more: http://missoulian.com/news/local/obituaries/klaas-otto-knottnerus/article_7e5af9aa-192c-11e1-b250-001cc4c03286.html#ixzz1ewJTddTW

July 13, 1920 - Nov. 22, 2011 STEVENSVILLE - Otto was born Klaas Otto Knottnerus on July 13, 1920, on a dairy farm in Zuidbroek, Gronigen, the Netherlands. He was the middle of five children - two older brothers, a younger brother and a younger sister. He lived in Holland during the Nazi occupation, and was involved in the Dutch underground resistance. In 1948, Otto and his younger brother, Leonard, after having applied for immigration to Argentina, Canada and the U.S., were accepted for immigration to the U.S., with a sponsor in eastern Montana - another Dutchman named Eizo Broesder. Otto and Leonard arrived by propeller-driven airplane in 1948 in Great Falls. They arrived with $7 between them, raincoats and poor English. Otto and Leonard worked for Mr. Broesder for some time, and then decided to try their luck in Southern California. After struggling to make a living in Southern California by picking oranges and milking cows, Otto and Leonard returned to eastern Montana. Mr. Broesder then gave his fellow Dutchmen an opportunity, selling them approximately 5,000 acres of uncultivated range land located approximately 16 miles outside of Big Sandy, and including acreage along the Missouri River in Virgelle. Over the next several months, Otto and Leonard worked, sometimes around the clock -with Otto running the tractor for 12 hours followed by Leonard for the next 12 hours- to break up and put into agricultural production approximately 3,500 acres, enabling them to obtain bank financing, and pay off their debt to Mr. Broesder. Over the succeeding years, Otto and Leonard further developed their land with a cattle operation consisting of approximately 250 acres of flood-irrigated alfalfa, three large silos and a feedlot operation with 1,400-1,800 calves. Meanwhile, Otto did not let hard work get in the way of his pursuit of his love life. In December 1956, Otto traveled to Long Island, N.Y., to court his future bride, Cornelia Vlyjm. Otto had previously met Corrie in Holland while on a return visit in 1955. He was so smitten with Corrie that he followed her travels and then pursued her in Long Island. Corrie had also immigrated and was working as a governess on Long Island. It was in the winter before Otto and Leonard had started their cattle operation. Otto took a trip to Long Island, found a part-time gardening job there, courted Corrie, and ultimately convinced her to move with him to eastern Montana and marry him. In March 1957, Otto and Corrie arrived by train in Havre. They were married in Big Sandy on May 5, 1957. Over the succeeding years, Otto and Corrie were blessed with three sons, Hank, Wilfred and John. Meanwhile, Leonard had also married a Dutch girl, Lynn Kimm, who had immigrated to Manhattan, Mont. Leonard and Lynn were also blessed with a son, Carl; a daughter, Dixie; and a son, Brent. Unfortunately, Lynn passed away in 1969, and Leonard subsequently passed away in 1978. Shortly before Leonard's death, Otto and Leonard sold the farm. Otto, Corrie, Dixie, John and Brent moved to Stevensville, while the rest of the children returned to studies at various universities. Over the next 34 years, Otto and Corrie lived their lives together in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley, making many new and cherished friendships. Otto worked for several years at the Bitterroot Stockfarm and also worked other local ranches before he retired. Dixie, John and Brent graduated from Stevensville High School before also leaving to attend university. Over the succeeding years, Otto and Corrie enjoyed retirement, traveled and were frequently visited by their kids and grandchildren, whom Otto cherished immensely. In the evening of Nov. 22, 2011, Otto, at the age of 91, passed away peacefully in the arms of his loving wife, Corrie. Otto was a Christian and a man of strong faith his entire life. He deeply understood God's gift of salvation through the death and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ, through whom death is not the end, but only the beginning. Of this, Otto was fond of saying "my battle is won." Yes Otto, your battle is won. A funeral service for Otto will be held at 11  a.m.  Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the First Lutheran Church, 2808 South Ave. W. in Missoula. A reception will follow the service in the church's fellowship hall. Interment will be in Riverside Cemetery in Stevensville following the reception. Read more: http://missoulian.com/news/local/obituaries/klaas-otto-knottnerus/article_7e5af9aa-192c-11e1-b250-001cc4c03286.html#ixzz1ewJTddTW

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Kay & Darlene Cotton
   Posted Tue November 29, 2011
We are very sorry to learn of Ottos passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Kevin Skaalure
   Posted Tue November 29, 2011
Corrie and all, we have fond memories of visiting the Knottnerus Clan in Virgille...and even once in Stevensville. Most of my memories are from 30 to 40 years ago, but they are of a strong man with smiling eyes, a kidding nature, and a hearty laugh. Otto and Corrie are examples of what is right with the world. Your goodness is a standard. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Marla Mahoney-Meister
   Posted Wed November 30, 2011
I knew Otto from the gym - he was always pleasant and a true gentleman of the 'old school'. I will miss him and my thoughts are with you, his family.

Bryan Bahnmiller
   Posted Wed December 07, 2011
Corrie,

Thanks for all the memories of you and Otto and being the gracious hosts in Virgelle. I will miss Otto, but I still remember his kindness and humor. I am sorry to hear of your loss. Blessings to you, Hank, Wilfred and John.

Bryan

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