Cover photo for Gary Lee Knopf's Obituary
Gary Lee Knopf Profile Photo
1942 Gary 2023

Gary Lee Knopf

January 25, 1942 — June 17, 2023

Gary L. Knopf, 81, of Dayton, Iowa, passed away Saturday, June 17, 2023, at the Paula J. Baber Hospice home in Fort Dodge Iowa.

Gary Lee Knopf was born January 25, 1942 in Algona, Iowa, one of eight children of Paul J. and Thelma (Hewitt) Knopf. The family moved to the Burnside/Lehigh area in 1945 and he attended Burnside/Lehigh schools. Gary was baptized in Algona and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church, Dayton, where he was a lifelong member. He was a graduate of the Lehigh High School class of 1959. Gary continued his education at Fort Dodge Community College (ICCC) where he received his AA degree in 1961.

Following his graduation from community college, Gary was employed as accountant at the Lehigh Elevator. He joined the staff at Union Trust and Savings Bank in Burnside in 1964 (later First Interstate Bank). Gary was the owner and operator of the Lehigh Credit Union (later People’s Credit Union) and Knopf Insurance in Lehigh while farming and preparing income tax forms for area residents. He later purchased Sandholm Insurance of Dayton and Home Insurance Agency in Paton. Gary worked in insurance, banking, real estate, farming and income tax in the surrounding communities for over 50 years until he retired.

Gary also served on boards of German Mutual Insurance and First State Bank of Vincent. Gary cared greatly for the community and the citizens alike, serving on the Dayton City Council from 1978-1983 and later as Mayor of Dayton from 1983 to 1989. He then moved back to the farm near Lehigh until 2018 when he returned to live in Dayton. Gary’s consideration, care, generosity and hard work touched many lives. Even while busy with work and public service, he still had time to have coffee with his buddies and lunch with his farmer friends.

In addition to his parents, Gary is preceded in death by his grandparents, Julius and Augusta Knopf and Hiram and Clarice Hewitt; his brother, Gene A. Knopf, his brother-in-law, Gerald E. Linn, and sister-in-law, Mary Knopf.

Survivors include his five sisters, Phyllis Linn, Boone; Shirley Petersen, Fort Dodge; Sharon (Thomas) Fortune, Lehigh; Sandi (Douglas) Jobe, Bear, Delaware; Linda (Charles) Lundquist, New Braunfels, TX and one brother, Rick (Mary) Knopf of Honolulu, HI. Also surviving are 22 nieces and nephews and numerous great nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, June 21, from 4 pm to 7 pm at Dayton United Methodist Church. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 22, at 10:30 a.m. at Dayton United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at the Dayton Cemetery. Memorials may be left to Trinity Lutheran Church, Dayton, Iowa.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Lee Knopf, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, June 21, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

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Dayton Cemetery

Iowa 175, Dayton, IA

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