Donald L Knauss

July 2, 1940 ~ April 30, 2021 (age 80)


Donald Lee Knauss, 80, passed away April 30, 2021 at his home in Libby, MT.  Don was born July 2, 1940 in Whitefish, Montana to Earl Lee and Clara Jane (Bigger) Knauss.  Don was the second of two children.  He grew up and attended schools in Whitefish and graduated from Whitefish High School with the Class of 1959.

He enlisted in the US Air Force and served active duty as an Airman 1st Class from 1960-1964 and the reserves from 1964-1966.  Don’s skills were in radio and radar maintenance and electronic security systems. He was stationed in China and Formosa, then back to the US to work with minuteman missiles during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  He was proud to have served his country and treasured freedom.

Don’s working career included the Great Northern Railroad in Whitefish; Columbia Falls Mill; C&C Plywood in Kalispell; Anaconda Aluminum Plant; and Glacier Park Service.  He moved to Libby and worked 28 years for the US Army Corps of Engineers at the Libby Dam as a powerhouse electrician, the last five of those years as a foreman of the electrical crew.  Don enjoyed his co-workers and challenges at Libby Dam.  He just loved his work! Don also owned and operated Knauss Electric for 30 years as a Master Electrician.

Don had a real-heart for God, his country, family and friends.  He was an optimist and always grateful to live and work in Montana.  Don will always be remembered for being a hardworking man who never complained about anything in his life including health or hardships.  He just persevered through it.  He cherished and dearly loved his wife, Janet and all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He had a genuine appreciation of the great-outdoors, nature, mountains, rivers, animals and all that goes with it.  Hiking, hunting and fishing were a passion.  He was an avid reader and loved military history.  Fly tying was a favorite hobby.

Preceding him in death were Don’s parents; brother Richard “Dick” Earl Knauss; and great-granddaughter Taylor Overton.

Survivors include his wife Janet Knauss of 42 years; his 6 children: Robert “Bobby” (Caryn) Knauss, Cathy (Sven) Bergmann, Ronald “Ronnie” Knauss, Kelly (Andy) Bennett, Krystal Mires, and Bonnie (Brad) Koch; 14 grandchildren; and 8 great-grandchildren.

Viewing will take place 1:00 -7:00 PM Thursday, May 6th at Schnackenberg Funeral Home  in Libby, with a Graveside Military Honors Memorial Service at 1:00 PM Friday, May 7th, 2021 at the City of Libby Cemetery.  Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting

Memorials can be made to Diamond Blackfan Anemia Foundation ( as this cause relates to a grandchild. 

To send flowers to Donald's family, please visit our floral store.


May 6, 2021

1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Schnackenberg Funeral Home Chapel
422 W 2nd St
Libby, MT 59923

Funeral Service
May 7, 2021

1:00 PM


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