Gary Lee Knudson crossed his final finish line on a fittingly snowy Park City morning, November 24, 2023. He enjoyed 90 years of racing through powder, ski instructing, playing, and teaching football, fishing, golfing, and skiing with his grandchildren. He loved riding his bicycle, long drives, and curiously traveling the world.
Gary was born in Salt Lake City, UT in his family home on October 6th, 1933, to Oral Litel Knudson and Mary Delila Moyle. He was the third of five children. He loved and treasured his siblings dearly.
He excelled in all sports and played football for West High School where he received the prestigious Thom McAn Trophy and went on to play for the University of Utah. He graduated with a degree in Physical Education. He honorably served his Country in the U.S. Army where he was accepted into Officer Candidate School and attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. While playing football for the Army in Colorado Springs he met the love of his life, Helen Marie McCune. They were married on June 18th, 1960, in Colorado Springs. Later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were married for 63 years.
Gary and Helen moved to Park City, Utah in 1961. He became the Park City High School football Coach. Over the years he became an accomplished entrepreneur, carpenter, Park City ski patrolman and ski school instructor, while he also co-founded The Latch & Acorn Chalet Ski lodges. He recognized the possibilities that would put Park City Utah on the map as a world class ski destination.
He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a descendant of a distinguished pioneer heritage, including John Rowe Moyle, who carved the “Holiness to the Lord” on the east face of the Salt Lake Temple.
Gary had many nicknames. They included The Silver Fox, The Silver Shadow, The Legend, Gare Bear, and GGK. He jokingly claimed the titles; “The man of steel”, and “The Head of the Ethics Committee.”
Gary’s famous quotes: “If you say you can, you can. If you say you can’t, you can’t. So, say you can, and you can”, “Don’t look down, look up”, “We are on a lawn mower budget”, He was famous for his many dad jokes.
Gary had a warm presence when he entered a room. He was particularly handsome and could talk to anyone, and he did. He had an intrinsic talent for hard work and a determination to pursue everything with his adventurous and fearless spirit, inability to take no for an answer, and his child-like curiosity to always be learning something new. He had a special skill for sneaking onto golf courses. He was a father figure to his grandchildren. He loved them deeply and they cherished every minute they spent with him. Grandpa Gary was a man who showed up, was dependable, and reliable.
Gary is survived by his loving wife Helen and his three daughters Kimberly (Wade) Esplin, Amy Knudson and Susan Knudson. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. His sister Lynn White, Jana (Ted) Brinton and Brother-in-law and Sister-in-law Tom & Judy McCune.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents Oral Litel Knudson, Mary Delila Moyle Knudson, brothers Kent (ReNae) Knudson, Kay (Betty) Knudson and brother-in-law Richard White.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 2nd, 2023 at 11:30 am at the Park City Ward located at 2300 Monitor Drive, Park City, UT. A greeting for friends and family will be held from 10:00 – 11:00 am prior. Interment at Park City Cemetery to follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, show kindness to a stranger. Please also consider sending a memory or favorite story about Gary to the Knudson family at email@example.com or mail to PO Box 511, Park City, UT 84060.