Beloved grand­fa­ther dies trav­el­ling home from U.S.

Regina Leader-Post - - FRONT PAGE - BRIAN FITZ­PATRICK

The fam­ily of a Swift Cur­rent man killed in a Mon­tana high­way ac­ci­dent last Sat­ur­day night have de­scribed a con­tent re­tiree who was ex­tremely proud of his Nor­we­gian her­itage.

“He was such an im­por­tant part of my life,” Ste­fani Er­dahl said of her grand­fa­ther, Marvin Knutson, 72, a snow­bird who had been making his way back to Canada from his home in Mesa, Ariz., when tragedy struck.

Knutson died near Great Falls, Mont., af­ter his north­bound Dodge Car­a­van hit a flatbed semi on In­ter­state 15, af­ter the south­bound semi turned across the me­dian at an au­tho­rized ve­hi­cle cross­ing area to get into a weigh sta­tion.

Though Knutson’s ve­hi­cle hit the rear right side of the trailer, the driver of the semi was not im­me­di­ately ap­pre­hended, af­ter briefly stop­ping in the weigh area but then leav­ing the scene.

Con­tacted Thurs­day, au­thor­i­ties in Mon­tana said the investigation is on­go­ing but would not con­firm whether the semi driver had yet been lo­cated.

Er­dahl, 26, said her grand­fa­ther had first landed in Mesa some eight years ago, af­ter sell­ing his over­head door busi­ness in Swift Cur­rent be­fore re­tir­ing.

“We’re re­ally strug­gling, based on the sit­u­a­tional fac­tors, as well as that, you know, our won­der­ful grandpa is gone,” she said, adding that Knutson leaves be­hind be­wil­dered stepchil­dren, grand­daugh­ters, nieces and neph­ews.

Er­dahl lives in Van­cou­ver, Wash., but the fam­ily has strong Cana­dian ties; she holds joint cit­i­zen­ship and once lived in Regina.

“Fam­ily vis­its would not have been the same with­out him. He made ev­ery­thing fun; ev­ery­thing was al­ways a joke. He was so giv­ing,” she said. “He built his own home; it’s the colours of the Nor­we­gian flag be­cause he was a proud Nor­we­gian,” she added. “His house is red, blue and white, to­tally bright colours. He was very proud of his Nor­we­gian fam­ily; he trav­elled and kept in touch with them.”

Er­dahl listed off the hob­bies that kept her grand­fa­ther busy as he shut­tled be­tween the two coun­tries.

“Danc­ing, golf­ing, trav­el­ling, Las Ve­gas, mu­sic,” she said. “He loved the orches­tra there (in Mesa). He loved an­i­mals. He al­ways had a lit­tle dog with him. “He was just do­ing very well, and that adds to the heart­break. He wasn’t ready to go. He was very healthy, liv­ing out his dream.”

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