Rigdon K. (“Knute”) Lorenz
Knute was born on September 14, 1928, one of six children of Marty and (Frances) Irene Lorenz. He spent his youth in St. Louis, MO and Flint, MI. An exceptional athlete, he captained the football, baseball, basketball, and golf teams at Normandy High School and went on to play baseball with a traveling minor league team. While playing baseball in Beloit, KS, he met his first wife, Beverly Reiter. They married on June 14, 1952. Soon after, Knute was drafted into the U.S. Army and served with the 101st Airborne Division during the Korean War. He often spoke of his paratrooper training to his children, and those are among the many stories that they cherish together.
With Beverly, Knute had seven children: Amy, Guy, Max, Erin, Lora, Matthew, and Andrew. Knute loved his in-laws deeply and enjoyed visiting the family farm near Simpson, KS, helping with various chores and harvesting with his parents-in-law, Loren and Lora Reiter. He worked many years for Fisher Body in St. Louis, scheduling production for all shifts at the plant on Union Blvd. and retiring early when the plant moved from St. Louis to Wentzville.
What he loved even more was working on building projects and working on his Model A Ford. In his later years, Knute reconnected with and married his high school sweetheart, Joyce (Grass) Arcaris, in 1998. They lived in Park City, UT and Surprise, AZ, where they enjoyed many years together, active in their communities, playing golf and bridge. After he was widowed in 2014, Knute came first to Iowa to live with his daughter Erin, and her husband, Van, then went to stay with his son, Guy, and his wife, Trudi, in Winfield, MO.
In addition to his building and mechanical abilities, Knute possessed a strong artistic side. He enjoyed woodcarving and was especially proud of winning the grand prize at Farmer’s Days in Jesup, IA with his carvings of quail, a roadrunner and a group of golfers. A man who always had a ready quip in any situation and who enjoyed practical jokes, Knute also had a kind heart and was a man who forgave easily and bore no grudges.
He was preceded in death by his parents, three siblings (Marty, Martine and Mary Ann), his infant son, Max and his wife Joyce. Surviving are his children: Amy of Dubuque, IA; Guy (Trudi) of Winfield, MO; Erin Zuck (Van) of Jesup, IA; Lora Lorenz-Ryan (Brady) of St. Charles, MO; Matthew (Andrea) of O’Fallon, MO; Andrew of Winfield, MO; and his stepchildren Richard (Patti) Arcaris and Carrie Arcaris of UT. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.