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In Memoriam ~ Franklin Knoll ’58

Franklin J. Knoll, age 83 of Plymouth, passed away May 18, 2023. Survived by wife, Margot; children, Elizabeth Knoll (John Heigis), Caroline Fullerton (Robert) and Jonathan Knoll (Katherine); grandchildren, Emma Stomberg, Jemma Heigis, Liam Heigis, Evelyn Heigis, Mae Fullerton, John Fullerton, Ella Fullerton, Mary Knoll and Thomas Knoll; sister, Helen Fitzgerald (David); deeply loved nieces, nephews, and many wonderful and close friends. Preceded in death by siblings, Mary Knoll, Elizabeth Kane (William) and John Knoll (Concy Rajkumar).  

Frank was born April 30, 1940 in St. Cloud. He graduated from St. John’s Preparatory School, received a B.A. from St. John’s University in 1962, and a J.D. in 1966 from University of Minnesota Law School. His deep commitment to public service, civil rights and social justice spanned his entire career and reflected an unwavering belief in the importance of serving the underserved. Frank served as general council for the Minneapolis Urban Coalition, was a Hennepin County public defender, served in both the MN House and Senate, was appointed Hennepin County District Court Judge in 1984, and volunteered his time as a tutor and mentor in Minneapolis schools. Frank’s artistic abilities flourished in his woodworking and poetry. He was a master woodworker, receiving numerous blue ribbons from the MN State Fair, and was happy to know that many of his pieces are with people he loved. His heartfelt poems allowed him to find some peace and make sense of the human suffering witnessed in many unforgettable cases as a judge.  

Frank married his dear Margot in 1965. Their marriage is a tribute to enduring love and an impactful life of shared values. He loved his family deeply. In later years, nothing brought more sparkle to his life than when he and Margot were with their grandchildren, who always held a special place in his heart. Frank’s family cannot express enough gratitude to the home health aides: Sam, Angel, Rachel, Mike, and Nicole; and Melissa from Park Nicollet Hospice, all of whom made such a positive impact on his life.  

Memorial Mass 11:00 AM, Friday, May 26th at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 155 County Road 24, Wayzata with visitation beginning at 10 AM. Memorials preferred to establish a scholarship fund in his name at St. John’s University. Gearty-Delmore 763-553-1411