Stanley Roland Kniepkamp of Lindsay, MT, joined his wife, Arlene, at their heavenly home on Sunday evening, May 30, 2021. How fitting for our dad, grandpa and 95-year-old WWII veteran to make his move on Memorial Day weekend.
Stan was born February 19, 1926 on a homestead in McCone County to Harry and Hilda (Albrightson) Kniepkamp. He attended the Valgate country school four years before attending school in Circle. Stan was especially close to his grandparents, Art and Margaret Goff, staying with them while attending Valgate, as their home was closer to the school. He graduated from Circle High School with the Class of 1944. A fun memory for Dad was organizing and attending his 70h class reunion in 2014, using a bus to ride in the Town & Country Day parade with his classmates.
Stan entered the service upon his graduation, becoming a member in the 65th Engineer Combat Battalion. During his years of service, the awards earned included the Purple Heart. He told of the excitement when World War II ended. The beginning of trip home, leaving Japan, included an 8-day ride on a luxury liner headed for San Francisco. The ship was indeed a luxurious ride with state rooms, delicious meals (complete with milk, something he had not enjoyed for almost two years), sporting activities, movies and nightly dancing to big band orchestras. There were many dancing partners as the women outnumbered the men by 400! Stan was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant in 1946.
Stan started working with his grandparents on the Goff Ranch, noted for being a top-notch sheep ranch. He watched many challenges in the industry, being part of farming and ranching all his life. An innovative risk-taker, he was especially pleased to be named the Outstanding Farmer in Dawson County in 1964. Stan was particularly proud of having his sons working side-by-side with him, all living on the same farm. Hard work and high productivity were standards he taught his family; a firm handshake was the mode of business and an ambitious work ethic was the standard of the Kniepkamp operation. Even so, Sunday, a day of rest, was always “church day”, with Stan missing very few Sundays during his entire adult life.
Music and dance were a big part of Stan’s life, actually meeting his wife Arlene at a dance. They were married in 1951, together building their home on the family farm. Just “a stone’s throw away” from his grandparents. At the top of the family’s entertainment was always dancing. Stan and Arlene were known for their outstanding dance style, which they passed on to their children. Family life for the Kniepkamps included an “open door” policy. Stan never met a stranger, always including and welcoming people, with his sense of humor in tow. His willingness to assist extended to his design to “Help you haul your money to the bank,” followed by a big smile.
Active in church and community, Stan served as Deacon, trustee and president of First Lutheran Church. He was a charter member of the Dawson County Range Resource Committee, appointed to the Governor’s Conference on the board of the Montana Planning Committee, and was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars—-serving as Post Commander, state Voice of Democracy committee member, District Commander, State Chief of Staff and National Aide De Camp.
A first-rate entrepreneur his entire life, Stan had many ideas, plans and careers. These ranged from his many goals for the farm, selling insurance for 36 years, owning Stan’s Country Auto for 26 years, being part of a resort on Swan Lake and trying his hand at inventions through a fiberglass company. No matter the job, he gave his best, willingly and with a smile.
Stan was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Arlene, grandson Tyler Kniepkamp, son-in-law Charles Mooer, his parents, grandparents and his sisters Georgine Bronson and Clara Janeway.
Stan is survived by his daughter Deb Mooer and family, Jeremy and Kristen Mooer and family, Teresa and Brent Schulte family, Michelle and Chad Palmer family; son Rick and Donna Kniepkamp family, Kristi and Kevin Chase family, Staci and Doug Hammell family, Tiffany and Jaden Erwin family; son Randy and Ann Kniepkamp family, Erin and Tyson Wilbur, Ellie and fiancé Andy Nyberg; son Mike and Kathy Kniepkamp family, Tara and Shane Bjornson family; Katie and Eddie Kraft family. Stan is also survived by 15 great grandchildren, his sister Pat Witte and many nieces and nephews.
Stan’s booming personality, dancing style and infectious sense of humor will be missed by all who enjoyed his entertaining ways. He has now joined the heavenly orchestra of angels, led by his wife Arlene, as they dance away the days on Cloud 9!