Norman Knodel


Norman Knodel, 91, of Bismarck, passed away March 23, 2024, at the Baptist Health & Rehab, Bismarck ND.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at Bismarck Living Hope Church of the Nazarene, Bismarck, ND with Rev Rich Wyatt officiating.

Visitation will be held Friday, April 12, 2024, from 6:00-7:00 PM at Bismarck Funeral Home, with a Prayer Service at 7:00 PM.

The livestream of the service will be on the church’s website, https://www.bismarcklivinghope.org/live


The Legacy of Norman Knodel

Norman Eugene Knodel was born on August 5, 1932, in McHenry County, ND, to Edwin and Emilia Knodel.  At the age of 6, they moved and he spent most his life in the Tuttle, Steele area, helping farm the homestead. After graduating from Steele High School, he met a pretty young schoolteacher named Helen Frey who caught his eye.  They were married on December 27, 1954.

After the many prayers of his mother-in-law, Tillie Frey, Norman gave his life to the Lord at the age of 28, and he never looked back.  And it showed.  They were a house that served the Lord.

In September of 1955 they welcomed son Richard, and just 13 months later in October 1956 Rodney was born.  Three years later in July 1959 along came little brother Steven.  What a handful those boys were!  But finally, in May 1964 they got their girl, when daughter Marilyn was born.  Of course, the older brothers were always picking on their sister, but Mary (aka the white tornado) could give it right back, plowing right through the blocks they were building.  She wasn’t going to be outdone by her brothers, either, and the family has many fun memories of shooting gophers on the farm, seeing who could outdo each other with firecrackers in cowpies, bottle rocket wars, who could lift the heaviest rocks while rock picking, and many other antics.  And of course, mom and dad were right there with them!

One of their favorite family trips was when they would head out to the Oregon coast to see Helen’s family.  So many memories were made with the cousins and aunts and uncles there!

Sundays were always a day of church and rest.  Many of the neighbors would be out in the field “because they HAD to get those crops in”.  But not Norman.  Sunday belonged to the Lord.  And because Norman was faithful, the Lord was faithful, and they were always able to get their work done on time.  Many Sundays were spent at the lake with their boat, either water skiing or fishing, napping, or playing games.  In fact, if you ask ANY of the grandkids, one of their favorite things to do when visiting the grandparents was to all gather around the table and play a wicked game of RAGE.  And there was NO mercy either!

Norman and Helen were very active in their church, serving on the church board, district advisory board, attending retreats, etc.  They made many wonderful friends who they ended up doing some traveling with, including several mission trips, to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  It’s believed that’s where Norman began his collection of canes.  And over the years, he collected quite a few from his travels. They loved to take their 5th wheel and head south for the winter in Texas and did this for several years.  It helped get them out of the cold for a few months which helped with their aches and pains.

In 2008, Norman and Helen decided to sell their farm, retire, and move to Bismarck.  It was an adjustment, but they still had their boat, so were able to get out and fish quite a bit.  They became active in the Bismarck Living Hope Nazarene church, serving there as well.


In 2015 Norman saw an item on his bucket list checked off when he and Helen and two of their sons and wives were able to take a Panama Canal Cruise.  It was quite the experience for him, one he talked about for years afterward.

This writing is called a legacy, because this family started with one man, and one woman, who decided to make the Lord a priority.  They raised their children with that same philosophy, who then in turn raised THEIR children that way.  So, from one man, and one woman, came four children, 13 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and counting, and the legacy continues.

One man, Norman, who chose to follow the Lord.  Look at the difference he has made.  You may think you don’t make a difference.  Look at Norman’s life, and the life of his family and you  know he was an amazing, faithful man.

Norman Knodel passed away on March 23, 2024 at the age of 91.

He leaves behind his wife of 69 years, Helen, sons Rick (Sue) Knodel, Rod (Brenda) Knodel, Steve (Sue) Knodel; daughter Marilyn (Kris)Cunard, 12 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, sister Kathie Schiermeister, sister-in-law Barbara Knodel, and numerous nieces, nephews, step grandchildren and step great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by father Edwin Knodel, mother Emilia Ness, stepmother Katie Knodel, brother Ardel Knodel, sister Violet Barone and granddaughter Lisa Knodel.

2 Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing”.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like the monies donated to “Nazarene Compassionate Ministry Child Sponsorship.” Make checks payable to Bismarck Living Hope or go online to the website “bismarcklivinghope.org/give.”

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What a wonderful man Norman. Sorry for your loss to whole family. You guys are all very special to me and my family. My heart is very heavy yet I know he is in a better place. Praise God

Helen and family I am so sorry to hear of Norman’s passing. He lived a good long life and we know for sure that he is living a much better life now. Prayers for you and your family.

My deepest sympathy to Helen and family. Norm was special to me, getting to know him over the years as his Dental Hygienist! He was a kind man. I always enjoyed our ‘visits’. He will be missed by all who knew him. My prayers for comfort and peace during this sad time. Barb Salzer

Our deepest Sympathy to Helen and family on Norman’s passing.
We really enjoyed going to Norman’s farm and learning how to milk cows, and especially riding Dusty the horse. It was fun to connect with our cousins and play in the barn.
Wishing you comfort and peace during this difficult time. Sending love, thoughts, and prayers to you and your family.
From Ardel Knodel family (Barbara, David, Susan and Janet Knodel)