Clifford Knudsen, Jr., of Antigo, died Monday, June 15, 2020, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. He was 80 years old. He was born on July 1, 1939, in Kenosha, a son of Clifford and Mary Ann (Houtsinger) Knudsen. He married Judy Smith on July 22, 1977, in Antigo. She survives.
He graduated from McKinley Grade School and from Kenosha High School 1957. He attended Kenosha Technical School from 1965 to 1968 and was awarded highest scholastic graduate in the class with a GPA of 3.88 and helped establish the curriculum for first Police Science program in the state of Wisconsin. He attended University of Wisconsin Parkside where he majored in Political Science graduating in 1969.
Cliff enlisted in the United States Air Force March of 1959, stationed at the Antigo Air Force Base from February of 1960 until honorably discharged in December of 1962. As a police officer from April of 1963 to September of 1969, Cliff helped organize the Kenosha Police Department Search and Rescue diving team. Cliff helped establish the curriculum for the first Police Science program in the state of Wisconsin. He became a Wisconsin Game Warden in September of 1969 and was stationed in Antigo from 1972 until his retirement in 1990. Cliff and Judy grew Christmas trees from 1985 to 2012 before retiring in the Antigo area.
Cliff's hobbies included, golf, trapping, gardening, hunting, raising honey bees, cutting and peeling pulp, collecting stamps and trap tags, and camping and fishing in Canada. He enjoyed bowling and bowled a 300 game on September 19, 1995.
Survivors, including his wife, are two sons, Marty (Debee) Franzen of Antigo, Toby (Kelly) Franzen of Antigo; a granddaughter, Samantha Franzen; a sister, Marilyn (Robert) Knudsen-Ibarra of New Mexico; a sister-in-law, Margaret Knudsen of Kenosha; beloved nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, step-father Milton Schroeder; a brother, Bill Knudsen.
Private family services were held.
Cliff's memorial service can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-hnI4Rd-UM&feature=youtu.be
I wish to say Thank You to the Bradley Funeral Home and to everyone who left messages, sent cards, called or sent prayers. Your words and thoughtful gifts are helping us through the devastating loss of Cliff Knudsen, a man who will never be forgotten as long as we live. Thank you from Judy Knudsen and Family.
Judy, our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Bruce and Anna Kemp
When Cliff was the Warden stationed in Oshkosh I worked as a Special Conservation Warden with Cliff. This was way back in 1970. I credit Cliff for helping me toward my career as a Conservation Warden. We all will miss Cliff. Denny Jones, Former DNR Warden Supervisor - Oshkosh WI
I worked with Cliff in the Department of Natural Resources. Cliff was an excellent conservation warden and was especially committed to protecting Wisconsin's important lakes, streams and wetlands. He definitely was a strong conservationist.Above and beyond that he was just a good person. George Meyer, Former DNR Secretary and Enforcement Division Administrator
I'll never forget our first dance at my wedding. I like to lead which drives my husband nuts but when Cliff and I started to dance, he took the lead and wouldn't let me have it which was so nice I absolutely loved it. He could not only dance but was the best hugger ever!
You never know what your in-laws will be like when you meet your future spouse but how lucky and I to have had the chance to not only meet Cliff but to be part of his family and and also to have Judy as my mother-in-law? Priceless. He was such a huge influence to Toby and Marty growing up - we are all lucky to have known him and loved him. Kelly Franzen
To the Knudsen family we send our condolences and a prayer. To Judy know that we are with you and so sorry for your loss.
I worked an Environmental Law Enforcement internship with Cliff the fall of 1978 while I was attending UW Stevens Point. Cliff taught me a lot about law enforcement, but the most memorable and funny thing he taught me was one night while working deer shiners. He had me driving the squad car and we observed a shiner shoot out of the car. The car took off after shooting, they didn't get the deer, and Cliff told me to catch up to them and stop them, well as the pursuit continued the car keep getting further away until we lost them. We stopped the pursuit and pulled over, and Clifford calmly (his normal demeanor) said to me, "Kevin, I don't know how to tell you this, but you have to go faster then them, if you want to catch them"! I never forgot those words throughout my 40+ years in law enforcement, I did loose a few more cars, but I learned to drive faster! I thank Cliff for all that he taught me, he was one of the good guys.
We loved Cliff like a brother! God be with you Judy, children and family! Our prayers are with you all. He will be greatly missed!🙏💕
He will be truly missed my mom and dad sure liked him You have our deepest sympathy thinking of you at this time. Diane and Eugene Stefanski
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