Paul Kendall Knudsen was born in Sioux City, Iowa, on July 23, 1950. He was raised in rural Nebraska with his parents and one sister who together on the farm. Growing up, Paul learned to love the land and appreciate all the outdoors had to offer. He became an avid hunter grouping up with his cousins and friends, a passion he continued throughout his lifetime.
Although his family was not rich in monetary blessings, they were rich in faith and tradition. Working the land for both work and play was just one of those pillars. As he grew into adulthood, he left his small Newcastle roots, and moved to South Sioux City. He worked for IBP, meeting many new friends–one who would turn out to be his father in law, Peter Schneider.
Pete introduced his daughter Pamela, to Paul, and the rest is history. They were married July 17, 1971 in Pam’s hometown of Early, Iowa.
His love of all things outdoors and involvement in sportsmanship was evident when he opened a small business with Pete, K&S Gun and Rock Shop, in 1975. What started out primarily as a side job and hobby, grew into a passion for all things arms. As a licensed dealer, Paul and Pete were the connection for reasonably priced guns and equipment for many in the local area. Pete passed away unexpectedly in 1985, and Paul continued the business operations, never forgetting the work he and Pete had lovingly put into it. Little did anyone know at the time, but it would become a lifeline of sorts. Less than a year later, Paul was diagnosed with a debilitating lung condition, which necessitated the end of his ‘packing house’ employment. Although physically unable to continue his many outdoor pursuits, the gun business helped him not only to maintain his ability to stay involved with the activities he so loved, but also to maintain his ability to make connections and build relationships. There was seldom a time out with his family, no matter where it seemed to be, that he didn’t know someone…and to stop and talk.
The shop was a home based business, and Paul was always on call. He was always available for any customer, who was usually a friend, or a friend of a friend. He took calls all the time, there was no such thing as business hours. He took orders and gave assistance without regard for day of week, or event, including Christmas! There were always people at the house to check into the latest model, to order whatever shells had to be here by the weekend, and to share the latest escapade in their hunting missions. As he shared his love of sport, he also worked tirelessly to ensure people used arms in the manner in which they were designed. Safety was a skill he worked to install in all, from the newest hunter to the seasoned veteran.
Virtually everything in Paul’s life revolved around his love for his guns. Outside of his faith, family, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers, it was a constant factor in everything he did. He traveled to auctions near and far, in hopes of finding a new treasure or gun he needed to add to his collection. He also searched anything Winchester–the older the better. Spoons, ice skates, store displays, whatever. It was a good day when he came across something he had been searching for.