Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Richard F. Knuth


Richard F. Knuth was born June 5, 1930, in Seward, Nebraska to Harry and Lydia (Barth) Knuth. He passed away on July 19, 2021, at the age of 91 in Orlando, Florida.  The family lived in Seward, Lancaster, and Saunders Counties until moving back to Seward County in 1950.  There he met and fell in love with Nancy Imig. Dick and Nancy were united in marriage on December 28, 1954.  To this union, they had two sons, Daniel Fredrick and Bradley Richard.

In 1958, Dick and Nancy moved across the country to Orlando, Florida to open the office of Cather and Son Drywall, where Dick served as Vice President until he became President of the Company in 1969. Cather and Son became one of the three largest drywall businesses in the United States. Drywall projects included the Vertical Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center, several large projects within the Walt Disney World Resort, many hotels throughout the state of Florida, as well as numerous high-rise condominium complexes spanning both coasts. They also operated their own rolling mills plant to fabricate steel studs and manufactured their own line of joint compound. In 1977, Dick also became a partner in a nursing home venture which built, owned, and operated a number of nursing home facilities throughout Florida.  Dick later formed Eliason and Knuth Drywall Co. of Florida, uniting with Eliason and Knuth Companies of Omaha, Nebraska.  In 1984, he sold his interest in the drywall business and formed Knuth Construction Company with his two sons, Dan and Brad. The three Knuth men enjoyed working together for many years building custom homes in Southwest Orange County.

Dick served on the Board of several established banks for over a decade from 1974 to 1985. In 1985, he cofounded Seminole National Bank, where he served as a director until 1992. In 1990, Dick served as a Director of Master Builders Council and was appointed by an Orange County Commissioner to serve on the Orange County Board of Zoning Adjustment.

Dick and Nancy were members of St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Orlando, where Dick served on the Board of Trustees for 19 years.  In 1964, he was voted Chairman of The Building Committee for a 12,000 sq. ft, two story Sunday School building.  In 1989, Dick and Nancy joined St Luke’s Methodist Church.

           Beginning in 1980, Dick and Nancy invested in several Nebraska farms, which they eventually grew into a family business involving their two sons. Together, Dick and Nancy loved spending their summers in Nebraska visiting with their relatives and lifelong friends while managing the farms. Dick and his eight brothers and sisters were raised on a farm, and he was happy to be able to return to his roots.

           In addition to his parents, Harry and Lydia, Dick was preceded in death by four brothers: Gerald, Wilbur, Lawrence, and Robert.

           Dick is survived by many. Those left to cherish his memory include his beloved wife, Nancy; two sons, Dan (Lea Ann) and Brad (Jane); three granddaughters, Kelley (Pat) Fry, Katie (Andrew) Cornutt and Kori (Andrew) Wissmann; two grandsons, Daniel (Caroline) Knuth and Bryce (Emily) Knuth; ten great grandchildren, Ryder and Jase Fry, Owen, Emma and Ella Cornutt, Wyatt and Jaxon Wissmann, Huntley and Hayes Knuth, and Isabelle Knuth; two brothers, Don (Phyllis) Knuth and Merle (Elna) Knuth; two sisters, Margaret (Dick) Hoover and Doris (Wayne) Troyer;  two sisters-in-law, Betty Knuth and Wilma Knuth; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Dick accomplished much in his 91-year-life, but he made it clear that he was most proud of his wife of 67 years, his two sons and their wives, his five grandchildren, and his ten great grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements in Florida by Dobbs Funeral Home, Orlando, Florida, (dobbsfuneralhome.com). Services will be held at First Baptist Church Orlando, Henry Chapel, 3000 S. John Young Parkway, Orlando, FL 32805 on Saturday, August 7, 2021. Visitation will be 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM; Service at 11:00 AM; Reception following in Faith Hall.   

The service will be lived streamed from First Baptist Orlando at the following link:


Funeral arrangements in Nebraska by Zabka-Perdue Funeral Home, Seward, Nebraska, (zabkafuneralhome.com). Date and time of the service will be forthcoming.

Memorials in lieu of flowers to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital or JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).


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