Michael Raymond Knodell, 67, of Winner, SD passed away on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 at the Winner Regional Hospital in Winner.
Funeral service will be held Friday, Oct. 15, 2021 at 11 a.m. at the Winner United Methodist Church. Burial followed in the Winner City Cemetery.
Michael Raymond Knodell was born on March 10, 1954 to William and Patricia (Collins) Knodell in Yankton, SD. He graduated from Winner High School in 1972.
After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force where he proudly served our country.
He married Brenda Konop on Aug. 20, 1972 and to this union two children were born, twins, a son Mickey and a daughter Misti.
After his military service, Mike and his family settled in Wyoming. Mike had a special gift with horses and people with disabilities. After a lifetime of experience with horses and 20 years working with the disabled, Mike brought his love for both together and started the Wind River Therapeutic Riding Association that quickly became one of the largest riding associations in the western United States. With this program, Mike taught riders who suffered from paralysis, blindness, brain injuries, mental challenges, or other disabilities. Mike formally studied therapeutic riding at Central Wyoming College and belonged to the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association. As a therapeutic riding instructor, he helped severely disabled people to learn life skills through horsemanship. Most of his clients had never ridden before. Soon after they were participating in Special Olympics and bringing home a trove of gold, silver, and bronze medals. Mike returned to South Dakota to be near family. He enjoyed helping at Miles and Kim DeJong’s ranch, where he had great memories, bible study, and ample time with horses.
When his son Mickey moved to the Winner area, they purchased an acreage together and savored the love of country living. Mike liked playing pitch and pool, watching rodeos and boxing matches, and, of course, westerns. He had a great sense of humor and knew how to tell a good story. He had a big heart and will be deeply missed.
Mike passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 9, 2021.
Grateful for being a part of his life, he is survived by his son Mickey Knodell, his daughter Misti (Chris) Burns, his grandchildren Taylor, Brooke, and Katie, his brothers and sisters, Dorothy (Tim) Gant, Carole (Tim) Mahan, Jack Knodell, Dar Knodell, Tammy (Steve) Lapsley, and Tony (Kathi) Knodell and several nieces and nephews.
Mike is preceded in death by his grandparents, parents, and his brother Bill.