James LeRoy "Jim" Knecht

April 23, 1931 ~ July 2, 2018 (age 87)

James LeRoy “Jim” Knecht, 87, of Aberdeen and formerly of Selby, SD, passed away Monday, July 2, 2018 at Bethesda Home of Aberdeen.

A private, family memorial service will be held on Sunday, July 8, 2018, at Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary & Crematory, Aberdeen, with Pastors Tim and Ginny Adams of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ officiating.

Jim’s wishes were to be cremated.  Burial, with military rites, will take place at Selby Memorial Gardens in Selby, South Dakota at a later date.

Friends may sign Jim’s online guestbook at

James LeRoy Knecht was born April 23, 1931 to John and Rosina “Rose” (Fritz) Knecht in Mobridge, SD.  He spent his younger years and attended school in Selby, SD. 

As a young man, Jim worked on a section crew for the Milwaukee Railroad before joining the United States Army in 1952.  Jim served overseas for 18 months in Germany, working with a demolition unit building bridges.  He was honorably discharged in 1954 with the rank for Corporal.

Following his return from the service, Jim went into the trucking business with his brother, Eddie, and also worked for the Selby Gas Company for 10 years.  He then began what would become a 24-year career with Cam Wal Electric.  Jim remained employed there until the time of his retirement in 1993.  After retiring, he drove school bus for Selby until he moved to Aberdeen.

Jim married Norma Aman in 1958.  The couple shared 23 years together before she passed away in 1981.

Jim was united in marriage to Virlene Mauck in October of 1983.  They made Selby their home until 2001.  While living in Selby, Jim was a member, deacon, and trustee of the United Congregational Church of Christ of Selby.  He also belonged to the American Legion and May Acres Golf Association.

Jim and Virlene moved to Aberdeen in 2001, where he kept busy working part-time at Wal-Mart and volunteering at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital.  In his spare time, he pursued his favorite pastime, golf.   Jim was a member of Lee Park Golf Association and was also a member and trustee of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ.

Surviving Jim is his wife of over 34 years, Virlene Knecht of Aberdeen; four step-children, Chuck Mauck of Aberdeen, Kent (Helen) Mauck of Mobridge, SD, Patti Mauck of Fairfax, VA and Cindy (Fran) Herman of Wayzata, MN; six step-grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Jim was preceded in death by his first wife, Norma; his parents, John and Rose; three brothers:  Bill, Gust, and Eddie; and two sisters, Mary Miller and Irene Herman.  

Virlene and family would especially like to thank Pastors Tim and Ginny Adams, the staff of Parkside Retirement Community and the staff of Bethesda Home of Aberdeen.

Memorials are preferred to Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ and may be sent to Virlene Knecht, 1425 15th Ave SE - #213, Aberdeen, SD  57401.

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