My Exciting Life
-to be elaborated
upon as the mood strikes me. In other words, it may get better and/or
was born in Dodgeville, Wisconsin on June 25, 1951 at 4 p.m. It was a pretty
exciting beginning: I actually was born dead (according to my mother) and had
to spend my first few hours in a resuscitator. What a pretty little gray baby I
must have been! When it seemed I was too stubborn to really die, I was named
Carol June Knutson and was taken home to the booming town of Livingston,
population 300, where I spent the first eight years of my life. I recall many
good times there, especially time spent reading and playing dominoes with my
grandmother. When I was a little older I went with my mother to her one-room
schoolhouse, where her students played house with me at recess. (My father died
when I was 3 1/2, so my mother raised the three of us by herself.) I remember
roller-skating through the town and taking tap and ballet lessons with all the
other kids in town. My grand finale there was diving into the side of the Monfort swimming pool and breaking my new, permanent front
there my mother packed us up and made the brave move to Oak Creek, then a small
suburb south of Milwaukee. It was the summer before I began fourth grade. I
started out being assigned to my mother's class (she taught fourth grade), a
predicament which she quickly remedied by having me transferred to Mr.
Carlson's class across the hall. Soon thereafter she paid a visit to my
classroom, where she found me sitting in the corner for talking too much! The
next year I took up the saxophone, and haven't put it down yet. I lived in Oak
Creek through grade school, high school, and college (University of Wisconsin -
Milwaukee), and the beginning of my brief teaching career (I was the band
director at Raymond, Racine Co.) before I ran away from home at age 23 and
joined the army. Well, it wasn't quite that simple. I flew out to Maryland and
auditioned, was accepted, and then joined the army as one of the first women in
the former all-male organization.
spent the next 20 years of my life in the United States Army Field Band in
Washington, D.C. (Actually I lived in Maryland and the band rehearsed at Ft.
Meade, MD.) The Army Field Band is the official touring musical representative
for the Department of the Army and travels about 110 days every year performing
concerts throughout the country and the world. In my time there, I traveled to
every state in the Union (our 5 tour areas encompassed the continental United States
and it took 2 1/2 years to complete the cycle), including Alaska and Hawaii and
our not-quite-states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. I also traveled to
Canada, Mexico, Germany, Japan, Okinawa, Korea, and India during my enlistment.
my career in the military, I met my husband, Doc Kramer, who sat next to me in
the sax section for the first half of my career. On July 31, 1984 I gave birth
to our daughter, Lois, who made several tours with me when she was still very
December 1, 1994 I retired from the Army Field Band and came back home to
Wisconsin with my family, settling here in the rolling hills of Richland
Center, less than an hour north of my roots. Unfortunately, since moving here
my husband Doc died in 2002 (of leukemia), my mother died in 2005 at age 95,
and my daughter Lois died unexpectedly in 2010 at age 25.
moving to Richland Center, I've been involved in a variety of activities, from
playing in musical groups to teaching, both privately and in several schools
here. I also do some adjudicating at music festivals. Iíve done quite a bit of
painting on walls, LP tanks, and even tilt-a-Whirls! I took up painting
watercolors a few years ago, but after a flurry of painting for 6 months, I
havenít done any since. I do plan to get back to that someday, though; I still
have to try my hand at bird and face paintings. I really enjoy seeing all the
wildlife on my property, and they make great subjects for paintings.
YE OLDE FAMILY PHOTO ALBUM
My great grandfather, Albert Rundell, 1853-1939
was a pioneer farmer in Southwest Wisconsin, being awarded the title,
"Master Farmer" from the University of Wisconsin. He was the first in
the area to see the advantage of and build a silo, as well as the first in the
state to import Guernsey cattle from the Isle of Guernsey. He was a founder and
President of Platteville's Mound City Bank and held several political offices.
He and his wife, Nancy Ellen Fruit, had nine children, one of whom was my
wonderful grandmother, Jessie Rundell Davis.
is an old photograph of my mother's family. Her parents (my Grandma and Grandpa
Davis) are in the center. My mother is seated next to her father. Her
grandfather, Albert Rundell, is standing behind her.
The rest are various brothers and sisters, cousins, and aunts and uncles of my
my grandparents' home
in Livingston (then and now - it's still there!)
my dad (Otto Knutson)
and mother (Eleanor Davis Knutson)
our old home in
Livingston (recent photo - it's still there, too!)
& Sarah (1878-1960) Knutson, my dad's parents (My brother, Gary, looks just
Andrew Knutson was
the son of Knute Knutson from the Rye farm in Valdres, Norway.