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Albert "Bud" L. Knake

July 30, 1930 — June 27, 2022

Albert “Bud” L. Knake, 91, of Bellevue passed away on Monday, June 27, 2022 as a result of a farming accident.  Private family services with no public visitation will be conducted with burial in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery.  Local arrangements are entrusted at Hachmann-Mier Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Bellevue.

Bud was born July 20, 1930, the son of Louis and Molly (Oltmanns) Knake. He graduated from Bellevue Community High School in 1947. Bud then worked at Gibson Manufacturing and Knake Welding Shop before he began his lifelong career as a farmer. 

On October 27, 1951, Bud married Lillian Kilburg, who passed away on June 8, 2021. Bud welcomed Lillian’s two children into his family, and they were blessed with three more children. For almost 70 years, Bud and Lillian were a team that farmed together, raised their kids and grandkids, and built a life that touched countless others throughout the community as well. 

Bud always said his greatest accomplishment was finding a spouse who shared the same goals and beliefs that he did.  Lillian was a farmer long before Bud joined her, and both believed that being healthy enough to put in a hard day's work was a blessing.  They always treated people honestly and fairly, fulfilled their commitments, and did things the right way even if it was the hard way.   Bud and Lillian gave back to the community and cheered for the Bellevue Comets, Iowa Hawkeyes, and Chicago Cubs. As a man of few words, Bud was also thankful that Lillian was always willing to be the social butterfly of the relationship and keep him up to date on the lives of his kids and grandkids.

Farming rarely felt like work for Bud.  He always told his kids and grandkids to “find a career that you love, and you will never ‘work’ a day in your life”.  He loved being outside, cutting hay in the tractor, checking cows on the Gator, and improving the conservation of his land.  Up until his very last minute, he was happily farming with his sons and grandson.

In 1962, Bud received the Jackson County Soil Conservation Achievement Award, and in 1965, he was honored with the Des Moines Register Sweepstake Award.  In 1973, he was a founding member of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and was named the 1980 Outstanding Farmer Award by the Jackson County Soil Conservation District.  Bud was recognized as the Jackson County Master Farmer in 1983 and the Wallace Farmer Magazine Master Farmer in 1984. 

In addition to farming, Bud was very involved in the community.  Bud served on the Bellevue Community School Board from 1972-1988 and was a Bellevue Township Trustee Chairman from 1972-1988.  He was a board member for the Eastern Iowa Production Credit Association and Buckeye Pig Corporation.   He helped start the Andrew Jackson Demonstration Farm and was an officer for the Jackson County Farm Bureau.  Bud was Chairman of the board for the Jackson County Board of Adjustment and board member of C&J Farm Service Co-op, Land O’Lakes, and the Jackson County Cattleman’s Association.  He was also an active member of St John’s Lutheran Church.

Bud is most well-known within the community for ‘Bud Ball’.  Bud started, financed, and coached basketball teams for grade school kids – and was even able to coach most of his grandkids.  In 1995, Bud was honored as the Dubuque Youth League coach of the year and saw many of his players, including three of his granddaughters, make it to the state tournament.  Bud’s grandkids can attest that while he was a demanding coach, there was never a doubt of his knowledge of the game or of his love and pride for them.  And almost all the games were followed by either pizza or a stop at McDonald’s.

As a true family patriarch and pillar in this community, Bud will be missed by all who knew and loved him. 

Survivors include his children, Donna Mueller, Mike (Kathy) Knake, Patrick (Lori) Knake, Penny (Charles) Medinger; 14 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; a sister, Minnie Knake; brothers and sisters in-law, Leanna Sieverding, Mary Anna Sprank, Frieda Ernst, Larry (Julie) Kilburg, Pat Ernst, Betty (Duane) Ernst, and Marilee Kilburg and numerous nieces and nephews. 

Bud was preceded in death by his wife Lillian; his parents; a son, Dan Knake; a grandson, Corey Mueller; siblings and in-laws, Hank (Connie) Knake, Ed (Betty) Knake, Eliza (Bill) Meyer, Meta Arrington, Mary (Wayne) Young, Ella (Tom) Chantos, Dena (Eldon) Glunz. Orville (Ivis) Kilburg, Eldon Sieverding, Peter Sprank, Sylvester “Jim” Kilburg, Cletus (Linda) Kilburg, Donald Ernst, Greg Ernst, and Rosemary (Orville) Roling.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed towards a new multi-purpose scoreboard at the Bellevue Community High School Football Field.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at

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