Charles (Bud) E. Knutsen, a retired high school teacher and local Democratic Party leader, has died at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in North Hills. He was 71.
A longtime Arleta resident, Knutsen died Tuesday of a heart attack, his wife said.
Born in Minneapolis, Minn., Knutsen was in the U. S. Army during World War II and served two tours in the Korean War, receiving two Purple Hearts and retiring at the rank of master sergeant. Following his military service, Knutsen came to California and began teaching in the Los Angeles Unified School District in the early 1960s. He was a reading specialist and taught history, psychology and sociology at Los Angeles-area junior high and high schools.
Knutsen retired from Narbonne High School in Harbor City in the mid-1970s and became active in Democratic Party politics. He was current chairman of the 39th Assembly District Committee and was a member of the California Democratic Party Executive Board and the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee.
Knutsen was active with voter registration drives and was known for encouraging young people, women and minorities to become active in the political process. Earlier this year, Knutsen received the Bob Mack Award for his grass-roots organizing efforts from the California Democratic State Central Committee.
He was also an organizer with the National Education Assn. and a member of the U. S. Army 41st Division Assn. and the 1st Cavalry Assn.
In addition to his wife, Knutsen is survived by two daughters and two grandchildren.
Services are private. Forest Lawn Mortuary in the Hollywood Hills is handling the arrangements. Donations can be made in Knutsen's name to the City of Hope or American Cancer Society.