After a full and well-lived life, Leo Martin Knudson gave way to Father Time at the age of 99. The husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, brother, uncle and friend will be sorely missed. The family would like to thank Dr. Mills and all the caregivers at Copper Summit.
Leo was born January 17, 1920 in Twin Falls, Idaho. He was the second son of Martin N. and Alice Mae Caldwell Knudson. Leo was very proud that in 1917 his father invented and patented the first Hydraulic Shock Absorber.
Leo and his older brother Arthur were raised on the family farm just south of Hollister, Idaho. Hollister was also the location of his elementary through high school education. During these school years he played all sports and particularly excelled in basketball. He was recruited to play basketball at the University of Idaho but because of the need to help on the farm he stayed close to home and for one year attended Albion State Normal. There he met a Burley girl, Betty Lou Sprague.
Prior to World War II, Leo worked in the aviation industry in the Phoenix and Los Angeles areas. After the breakout of the war, Leo and Betty were married on December 24, 1941 in Phoenix. As so many young men did, Leo wanted to serve his country and on December 4, 1942 he joined the Navy. Basic training took him to Farragut Naval Facility and San Francisco, followed by intensive electronics schooling at ISU and Texas A & M. He was a radio engineer for 18 months of the war stationed on the small New Guinea island of Amedee.
After the war, he and Betty returned to the Twin Falls area where they built their own home. Leo worked as a radio engineer for Radio KVMV and Morrison Knudsen on the Salmon Creek Dam. in 1948 he entered the electrical construction field in Pocatello, Idaho where he worked on the construction of the Westvaco (FMC) plant and became a life member of IBEW Local 449.
The next decade was occupied with their family of four children while supervising various jobs, including the Bannock County hospital for CL Electric. In 1963 he founded Electric Sales, Inc. with the initial intention of selling electrical parts and appliances. It quickly evolved into a major player in Southeast Idaho and Wyoming as a quality industrial electrical contractor.
Leo became very involved both locally and nationally with NECA, the electrical industry association. He was also very passionate about his involvement in the Rotary Club of Pocatello. Additionally, he was associated with Central Christian Church, Salvation Army, CASA, Elks, Pocatello Chiefs and very active with ISU sports.
Leo retired in 1985. He and Betty traveled and attended sporting events around the country. Of course, they were the best fans of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Their family consists of Lynda K. (Ron) Woodworth, R. Lou (Sonya) Knudson, Melissa A. (Dan) Green and Kim L. (Allyson) Knudson, 11 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. Betty passed away August 1, 1990.
Leo established a special friendship and bond with Crissy Kelly. They remained active with golfing, traveling and attending social and sporting events. Thanks to Crissy for being there for our dad Leo.
Celebration of Life will be June 10, 2019 at the Juniper Hills Country Club 5pm - 7pm.
In lieu of flowers please donate to your own charity or organization, Leo’s favorite was ISU Athletics and the Idaho Food Bank.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Cornelison Funeral Home, 431 N. 15th Ave., Pocatello. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.cornelisonfh.com