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 Nicolas Jon “Nic” Knievel

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Nicolas Jon “Nic” Knievel

  • Birth 3 Oct 1939 Butte, Silver Bow County, Montana, USA
  • Death 12 Sep 2010 Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai County, Idaho, USA
  • Burial Butte, Silver Bow County, Montana, USA
  • Memorial ID 58888568

Nicolas Jon "Nic" Knievel and his year older brother, Robert Craig "Evel" Knievel, were born in Butte, Montana. They were the only two children born to Robert E. Knievel and Ann "Zippy" (Keough) Knievel. Nic's parents divorced in 1940, within a year of his birth. Both Ann Knievel and Robert E. Knievel decided to leave Butte. Robert Craig and Nicolas Jon were subsequently raised in Butte by their paternal grandparents, Ignatius Knievel and Emma Knievel. The Knievel surname is of German origin; Nic's great-great-grandparents on his father's side had emigrated to the United States from Germany.


From the book, Evel Incarnate written by Steve Mandich:

Nic raced cars in the ‘60s before becoming an auto dealer in Eugene, Oregon, where he and his wife Rusty raised four children. In a possible case of sibling rivalry (or evidence that risk-taking really is genetic), Nic sold the dealership in 1977 and began attempting ramp-to-ramp jumps in a car. Evel and Nic's father Robert Knievel built a "Mini Indy" racecar around a snowmobile engine for Nic to use for jumps. Like Evel, Nic was articulate and wore a similar stars-and-stripes costume, but he lacked Evel's stage presence... Nic's first scheduled performance, an attempt of 112 feet, was to take place in Yakima in September 1977. In a shorter practice jump a few days earlier, he flew twenty feet beyond his landing ramp, came down sideways on two wheels, and fractured three vertebrae. In July 1978, he came back with a 110-foot leap in Redding, California, followed the next month by a jump of 113 feet at the Eugene Speedway. Nic then claimed the world record, saying he bettered Joie Chitwood's car-jump mark by two feet. He then planned to ride across the US on a motorized skateboard and make a world record boat jump, though neither stunt ever happened.

The Register-Guard
Eugene, Lane County, Oregon
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Family Tribute

Nicolas "Nic" Knievel

Nick passed way Sunday, September 12, 2010.

Nic was born in Montana on October 3, 1939. He was raised in Butte, Montana with his brother Robert Knievel, by their grandparents; I.J. and Emma Knievel.

He married Rusty Ketelsen in Butte in 1958. They resided in Montana until 1973, then moved to Eugene, Oregon.

Nic moved to Coeur d'Alene in 1997 where he lived the rest of his life.

Nic is preceded in death by his brother Robert; grandparents IJ & Emma; father R.E. Knievel of Butte, MT; and mother, Ann Keough of Reno, NV.

He is survived by his wife Rusty of Eugene, OR; and his sons: Nick and wife Samantha of Boise, ID; Jeff of Bend, OR; and Curtis of Torrance, CA; and daughter Tan and husband Sean McCartin of Eugene, OR. Nic is also survived by his [step]mom, Jeannie Buis Knievel of Butte, MT, along with five [half-]sisters: Kristy & husband Hugh Lawrence of North Pasco, WA; Renee & husband Bill Slaughter of Hall, MT; Robin & husband John Dick of Butte, MT; Kate Boney of Eugene, OR and Loretta Young of Reno, NV. Nic is also survived by 9 grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

It was Nic's wish in lieu of any flowers that a donation be made to your Humane Society.

Private Family Services will be held at a later date. English Funeral Chapel, Coeur d'Alene has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Family Members






  • Created by: Jan
  • Added: 19 Sep 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 58888568
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Nicolas Jon “Nic” Knievel (3 Oct 1939–12 Sep 2010), Find A Grave Memorial no. 58888568, citing Mountain View Cemetery, Butte, Silver Bow County, Montana, USA ; Maintained by Jan (contributor 46631155) .