Juanita Russell Knudsen, 65, a lifelong resident of Islamorada, died peacefully at her home Jan. 3 following an illness.
The daughter of the late Richard G.W. Russell and Virginia Duncan Russell, Knudsen was the great-great-granddaughter of Richard H. and Mary Ann Russell, who came to the Florida Keys in 1854 as Islamorada’s founding family.
Knudsen was active in numerous Upper Keys community organizations, including serving as chairwoman of Boy Scout Troop 914 for 14 years and as leader of Girl Scout Troop 104 for nine years.
She served 21 years on the board of directors for Operation Round-Up, the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative’s charitable trust, with terms as president and vice president. Knudsen also was active for 60 years with her Islamorada churches, Matecumbe United Methodist Church and Island Community Church.
She is survived by her husband of 41 years, charter Capt. Kenneth Knudsen; daughter Richelle (and son-in-law Johnny) Samuels; son K.C. Knudsen Jr. (and daughter-in-law Carrie); brother Richard Russell (and sister-in-law Mary); grandchildren Olivia Samuels, Gavin Samuels, Eve Samuels and Julia Knudsen; and nephews Zachery and Tayler Russell and niece Joy Russell.
A memorial celebration will be held 11 a.m. Jan. 20 at Matecumbe United Methodist Church, mile marker 81.8, with Pastor Bob Pavey presiding.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Matecumbe United Methodist Church in the name of Juanita Knudsen. Plans are in place for needed audio-visual equipment to be purchased in her honor. The mailing address is 81831 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, FL 33036.
Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206