Gayle Frances Knutson passed away July 14, 2021 at the age of 86. The last of three children, she was born on February 23, 1935 in Ann Arbor, MI to Claire and Genevieve Cunningham. Shortly after she was born, the family moved to Lansing, MI, then to Wenatchee, WA during World War II. She attended Catholic elementary school, which proved a strong influence on her life, then attended Wenatchee High School, graduating at the top of her class in 1952. She attended College of St Catherine in St. Paul, MN for one year, before meeting Lyle Knutson through mutual friends. The two were married on July 24, 1954. Being an excellent typist, she found secretarial work with International Harvester. A couple years later, they moved to Spokane and Gayle left the workforce when they started a family. They raised their five children in a home Lyle built -- with the assistance of Gayle's father -- northeast of Spokane on Peone
Prairie. Gayle returned to the workforce in 1975 as a secretary at Mead High School, then moved to Mead Junior High School in 1981. After she retired from the Mead School District in 1998, she spent considerable time traveling with Lyle. They enjoyed cruises to Alaska, through the Panama Canal and on the Danube River in
Hungary. Gayle’s hobbies included reading, playing card games such as bridge and pinochle, word games and crossword puzzles. Gayle also liked to crochet, learning the craft as a little girl from her mother. She completed over 50 projects, ranging from afghans to tablecloths, which she gave to family, friends, and charities. She also enjoyed countless hours watching her children and grandchildren in sports, drama, and music activities. She is preceded in death by her parents Claire and Genevieve Cunningham; sisters Betty Ginther and Marylyle Osborn; husband Lyle; daughter Julia Florin; and great granddaughter Kylee Knutson. She is survived by daughters Joanna Knutson and Beth Roe (Dan), sons Barry Knutson (Tracy) and Ken Knutson (Jana), 15 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. A vigil service will be held at Hennessey Valley Funeral Home in Spokane Valley, WA on Sunday, July 25 at 5:00 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held at St Mary Catholic Church in Spokane Valley, WA on Monday, July 26 at 11:00 a.m. followed by burial at Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake, WA at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that Gayle be honored with donations in her name to Horizon Hospice or the Alzheimer's Association. To share memories of Gayle and leave condolences for the family, please visit her Tribute Wall.
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