Joseph Dean “Pepsi Joe” Knutson


Joseph Dean “Pepsi Joe” Knutson, 71, of Galesburg, Illinois, died Monday, January 8, 2024 at OSF St. Mary Medical Center, Galesburg.

Joe was born October 12, 1952 in El Paso, Texas the son of Donald B. and Joan F. (Lynch) Knutson. He married Sue DeMoss in 1974. They divorced in 1983. He then married Dee Patterson in 1988. They divorced in 2002. Joe is survived by two daughters, Bambi (Jerry) Strom of Knoxville, Illinois and Michael Knutson of Galesburg; and six grandchildren, Keegan (Ariel) Young, Quinton Knutson, Zoe Jacobsen, Cobain Knutson, Jacklyn Strom, and River Strom. Joe is also survived by one sister, Crystal Pipes of Hendersonville, Tennessee. Two nieces, Angie Snyder and Sarah Barnanyay; one nephew, Jeremy Pipes and his beloved furbaby, Sable. He was preceded in death by his parents and two siblings, LouAnn and Bruce.

After graduating from Knoxville High School Joe served in the US Army. He fought for his country in Vietnam and was stationed in Panama and Fort Knox, KY after the war. He was honorably discharged in 1976. He then enlisted in the US Navy in 1976 and was honorably discharged in 1985. During his time in the military he worked as a recruiter. As a civilian, he worked at Citicorp in Chicago, Illinois. In 1989 Joe worked for Future Technology in Sydney, Australia through June 1990. After returning to the United States Joe worked for Rhone Poulenc Chemical Company and spent the past several years working as a bus driver for Davidsmeyer & Cook Bus Company.

Pepsi Joe was renowned for his enthusiastic collection of Pepsi memorabilia and his frequent, joyful presence at Pepsi Conventions. Joe’s love for the outdoors was evident to anyone who passed by his perfectly tended lawn or saw him cheerfully clearing snow for his neighbors. He was always ready to lend a hand with his handyman skills and was a strong dance partner who loved to 2 step. Indeed, Joe’s kindheartedness and dedication to his family and friends left a legacy as effervescent as his favorite soda.

Private family visitation will be held. Graveside services will be 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 27, 2024 at Memorial Park Cemetery, Galesburg. Father Shawn Doubet will officiate. Arrangements have been entrusted to Watson Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory, Galesburg. Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Anglican Church. Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at

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