James ‘Jim’ McKnight - Brookings
March 5, 1937 - Nov. 11, 2023
James “Jim” H. McKnight, DVM age 86 of Brookings, passed away at the Brookings Emergency Room on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023.
Visitation will be from 5-6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17, at Eidsness Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Eidsness Funeral Home. A light lunch with follow the funeral service, and a graveside service will be held at 12:45 p.m. in the De Smet Cemetery at De Smet, SD.
James Herschel McKnight was born on March 5, 1937, to Herschel James McKnight and Hilda M. Larson McKnight at Platte, SD. Major Herschel McKnight died of wounds received in the African Campaign in 1943. Hilda, Jim, and sister, Jean, moved to De Smet, SD, with her mother. She met and married Oscar Bjordahl in 1945, and the family moved to his farm.
Jim attended school in Erwin, SD, and the Bowes country school. He graduated from De Smet High School in 1955. Jim attended South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City for two years. He transferred to South Dakota State College (now SDSU) to study pre-vet for two years. Jim was accepted into the Iowa State University Veterinary College in Ames, Iowa, where he graduated with his DVM in 1963. While at ISU, Jim met and married Connie Schumacher.
Upon graduation, Jim went to work for Dr. Tom Mott at Mobridge, SD. After six months, Jim and Connie set up a private mixed practice in Brookings, SD. He practiced out of the home and car, and in 1968, they built the McKnight Veterinary Clinic. Dr. McKnight was a lifetime member of the National AVMA, SDVMA, and the National Bovine Association.
He served on the SD Examination Board for eight years, and was the president of the SDVMA for its 100th anniversary from 1990 to 1991. Dr. McKnight also served twice as the president of the Interstate Veterinary Medical Association.
At one time, Dr. McKnight was licensed in seven different states, and performed relief work for other colleagues. He was selected as the SDVMA Veterinarian of the year in 2015. Jim was extremely passionate about veterinary medicine.
Survivors include his wife, Connie of Brookings; son, Matt (Tammy) McKnight of Chicago; daughter, Ann McKnight (Tom Nelson) of Minneapolis; grandchildren, Kelly (Travis Smith) McKnight, Will, Max, and Jack; brother-in-law, Marv Hoffer; sisters-in-law and numerous other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Major Herschel McKnight; mother, Hilda McKnight Bjordahl; sister, Jean Hoffer; step-father, Oscar Bjordahl; step-brothers, Cecil, Delbert, Wayne, and Ron Bjordahl; and step-sisters, Ruth Bowes, Verla McMasters, and Fern Johnson.
Memorials may be directed to the SDVMA Scholarship Foundation, Inc., or the Friends of SDPB.