Happenings - August 2006
Grand County High School
David and Merrie
Knutson, GCHS Alumni
Exactly when Grand County High alumnus
David Knutson (Class of 1976) first asked out his future wife
Merrie Stewart (GCHS Class of 1979) has long been a point of
good-natured debate between the couple, who celebrate their
25th wedding anniversary this month.
by Jeff Richards
David claims he once asked her out
while she was inside the old A&W drive-in, but that she
declined his invitation. “I just walked in there and
asked, ‘Who wants to go bowling with me? Do you want
to go bowling?’” he said, indicating that he was
pointing at Merrie at the time. “But she said she couldn’t
because she had to work.”
In this November
2004 photo, David and Merrie Knutson (seated) are
surrounded by their five sons and daughter-in-law
Merrie says that she remembers no such conversation, and
admits she had little or no interest in David until she was
in college. “In high school, if anyone had told me
that I’d end up marrying him, I’d have laughed
in their face,” recalled Merrie with a chuckle.
Fast forward a few years past high school. Shortly after
David returned from a two-year LDS mission to Norway in February
of 1980, Merrie came back to Moab for the summer after spending
a year at Ricks College in Idaho. It was then that their
courtship began. “We mainly got together as part of
church group activities and dances,” Merrie said, adding
that after the summer was over she returned to Idaho for
another year at Ricks, earning her associates degree in child
David remained in Moab working with his dad while Merrie
was in Idaho for another year, but their relationship grew
stronger, despite the long physical distance between them.
The following summer, on August 14, 1981, David and Merrie
were married in Manti. They have since lived for the past
25 years on Knutson Corner in the southeast portion of Moab. “We’ve
lived in different trailers, and we’ve upgraded over
the years, but we’ve always been right here in the
same spot,” Merrie noted.
Both David and Merrie are both proud fifth-generation Moabites,
and their respective parents (Ollie and Roberta Knutson and
Jack and Shirley Stewart) all still live in Moab. All of
David’s and Merrie’s siblings also attended Grand
David and Merrie are the proud parents of five sons, the
oldest four of whom have graduated from GCHS.
Oldest son Jordan (Class of 2000) and his wife Jaicee live
in Logan, where they are both attending Utah State University.
The couple also spent one semester studying in Russia (where
Jordan had earlier served an LDS mission).
son McLain (Class of 2002) and his wife Sheri were married
earlier this year. After spending the summer in Moab, they
plan to move to Logan this fall to attend USU (Sheri has
a year left in elementary education, while McLain plans to
pursue a degree in computer science). McLain previously served
an LDS mission in Arkansas.
Third son Trevor (Class of 2004) is a member of the Utah
Army National Guard reserves, assigned to the 786th Quartermaster
Company, Petroleum Supply, based in Provo. He is currently
serving an LDS mission in Donetsk, Ukraine, and will return
home in December, 2006. After that, he plans to attend college
while fulfilling his military obligations and training.
Fourth son Brennan (Class of 2006) plans to pursue a degree
in communications at Southern Utah University in Cedar City,
where he received a four-year full-tuition scholarship through
the Governor’s Honors Academy. He also plans to serve
an LDS mission after turning 19 next spring.
Last but not least, youngest son Reyce, 9, will soon enter
the 5th grade at Helen M. Knight Intermediate School.
“We’re glad that we still have Reyce in the school
system,” commented Merrie. “We’re not quite
ready to be ‘empty nesters.’”
But they are getting ready to become grandparents, she added
quickly, noting that Jaicee and Jordan are expecting their
first child in January.
David and Merrie have long been fixtures at various GCHS
activities over the years, and enjoy attending everything
from football and basketball games to school plays and dances.
“Neither of us played sports in high school,” noted
Merrie. “But we both loved drama and music, and I was
on the drill team.” David remembers portraying the
king in the play “The King and I,” a role for
which Debbie Dalton shaved his head. “Believe it or
not, I actually once had hair up there,” said the now
follicly challenged David.
Their love for music and dancing has led them to volunteer
choreographing and teaching the promenade dance to the GCHS
junior class for each spring’s Junior Prom for 13 of
the past 17 years. “We really enjoy working with the
kids and teaching them the dance,” said Merrie, adding, “Junior
prom is one of the few remaining traditions where virtually
the whole community comes to watch and participate.”
The Knutsons own and operate the Knut & Sons family business,
one of the longest continually operating businesses in the
Moab area. Their diverse work includes construction, demolition,
water supply, heavy equipment, movie and commercial production
support, pilot car services, and related support services
for major events such as the 24 Hours of Moab bicycle race.
David also served six years on the Grand County Commission,
and continues to be involved in various community activities.
Merrie taught preschool for awhile and currently serves as
a substitute teacher for Grand County School District. She
also has been involved in numerous school and community organizations
and activities over the years. She and David are both avid
Scout leaders, and their four oldest sons are all Eagle Scouts.
Both David and Merrie cited several GCHS teachers as being
a positive influence on their lives, including Jim Walker,
Ray Olsen, Donna Brownell, and Val Maughan, just to name
The Knutsons say they hope their children have been instilled
with a love for learning that will continue for generations
“Moab has been a great place for us to raise our family,
and I’m glad our boys have had so many opportunities
to participate and excel,” added David.
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