George Stanton Knowlden, born in 1929, passed through the veil on August 2, 2023, at the age of 94 to rejoin his wife Marjorie (Marge) Ellen and his son Michael Ivan.
Throughout the day, many of George's family and close friends came to wish him well on the next stage of his journey.
His loving daughter Becky and her husband Greg attended George's side as he quietly passed in his sleep. It was a peaceful end to a life well lived.
George, affectionately known as Juddie or Judd, was born to Mabel Palmer and Leonard Wilford Knowlden in 1929, the youngest of five children. He was the last surviving sibling in his family.
George was raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, at a time when there were nearly no buildings west of Redwood Road, south of 21st South, or east of Foothill Blvd.
He grew up playing "Cowboys and Indians" (always being the Native American, of course), building forts in the ground, swinging in the trees, and riding his own horses. He roamed the foothills and canyons of the Wasatch Front on his horses.
The things that meant the most to George were loving his family, serving as a member in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, replicating Native American 19th Century culture and art, speaking and studying languages (especially Spanish), camping (particularly in his teepee), traveling, teaching, and serving in the military.
As a young man, George decided to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ-the first of his three missions served during his lifetime. He was called to the Argentina mission in 1949. Through the generosity of his Uncle Mac and Aunt Min Perkins, and the support of his widowed mother, he was able to serve a 2½-year mission, often being assigned to areas where little to no previous missionary work had been done. George and his wife Marge later returned to Argentina during one of their many travels to meet the descendants of people he had baptized and was able to see the resulting generations of membership in the Church of Jesus Christ.
Upon returning to the States, George was inducted into the Army in January of 1952, embarking on his next big adventure. While in training at Fort Ord, California, the "Mormons" in his infantry group were ordered to eat, get on their class As, and fall out at 18:00. They were bussed to the Gold and Green Ball, an annual dance for the young members of the church. There he met and danced with Marge. On the way back to base later that night, he told his friend, "She is the girl I am going to marry." On July 24, 1952, George proposed, and Marge accepted. When George was ordered to Officer Candidate School with one week to report, he and Marge were married on October 15, 1952.
After a two-day honeymoon in Salt Lake City, George left his new bride in Provo with her sister and reported for several months of training before he and his wife were reunited. George served in various active duty and reserve positions over the years, retiring from the military as a Colonel after 26 years.
While serving in the Army Reserve, George completed his higher education, just short of a masters' degree in Spanish, and began his teaching career. George ran the library and taught math, geography, U.S. history, media, French, German and, of course, Spanish at the high school level. George retired after 26 years of teaching to join Marge in a well-deserved retirement.
George found his way back to his childhood love of Native American culture in 1976 when he purchased a black powder rifle kit. George deeply immersed himself in Native American studies and handiwork. Over time, George became well known as "Two Hawk," through his Native American replicas and activities. He made hundreds of museum-quality leather, bead, quilled, and other pieces, large and small. He was "adopted" by many dear Native American friends and respectfully represented the Crow Tribe. Many of his pieces are spread throughout the mountain man community and have even been showcased in several movies. His collection numbers in the hundreds of pieces and will be treasured by his surviving family.
George and Marge traveled extensively, visiting 33 countries. They visited North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. Family life was always centered on activity in the Church of Jesus Christ as well as numerous family trips each summer throughout the western United States and Mexico. George continued traveling abroad until the age of 93.
In his later years, George fulfilled his second mission for the Church of Jesus Christ, along with his wife, both serving as senior missionaries in Puerto Rico on the island of Vieques. They later served a local mission in a Spanish Branch where George and Marge were service missionaries.
At the ripe of 93, George found love again and married Betsy Jones. He found great joy in that loving relationship for the short time they had together before her health failed and she moved to long term memory care where she remains.
George and Marge had four children, Michael, Rebecca (Greg Tesch), Leonard (Ginny) and Lynne (David Martinez). Michael and Lynne each were born with intellectual disabilities, which caused George and Marge to face and overcome many challenges. Later, they became guardians of Lynne's son Tony, raising a third child with intellectual disabilities.
George was preceded in death by his son Michael, who died at the age of 19, and his wife Marge, who passed away in January of 2021. George remarried in December of 2022 to Betsy Jones, who survives him. His is also survived by 11 grandchildren and many great grandchildren. George lived an active and full life until the end.
Funeral Services will be held Wednesday, August 16, 2023,11:30 a.m. at the Stratford Ward. A Viewing will be held Tuesday, August 15, 2023, 6-8:00 p.m. at McDougal Funeral Home, 4330 South Redwood Road, Taylorsville, and then Wednesday, August 16th, 10-11:15 am ath the Church, prior to the funeral service.
Interment, Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, 3401 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah.