Grace Irene Gilkey Dawson, former 30-year resident of Bellevue and 21-year resident of Woodinville, passed away peacefully on June 6, 2014, surrounded by family. She was born in Scio, Ore., at home on her family farm on November 26, 1917, to Leonard Ernest Gilkey and Edna Elizabeth Smith Gilkey. She dedicated most of her life to education, graduating Albany High School in 1936, and Oregon State College in Home Economics in 1940. She began her home economics teaching career in Dufur, Ore., before moving in 1950 to Sumner, Wash., to teach.
On February 19, 1954, she married Wendell Dawson and left teaching that year when they purchased a home with 10 acres in Bellevue. Following Wendell’s sudden death in May 1965, she resumed her teaching career in 1967 at Renton High. She soon became the Home Economics Dept. Head at the new Lindbergh High School in Renton where she retired in 1979.
After moving to The Farm on Hollywood Hill in Woodinville in 1984, she became active in the Woodinville Garden Club, took several adult education courses, and continued her love of gardening, floral arranging, art and travel. She toured Europe, the Panama Canal, Hawaii, the Pacific Rim countries, Alaska and Canada. She continued teaching cooking, sewing and gardening to her neighbors and family members until 2005 when she moved to assisted living in Bothell for five years.
She will be remembered for the pies, raspberries, floral arrangements, and several other generous gifts she shared with friends, family, and charities. She loved teaching children to make gingerbread men and gingerbread houses.
In 2010, she moved to Maple Villa Adult Family Home in Lynnwood where she received loving care until her passing. Grace was preceded in death by her husband Wendell, her parents, her four siblings Helen Gilkey Cornett and Allen, Gordon, and Harold Gilkey. Surviving her are many nieces and nephews and their families, as well as those who became her grandchildren and great-grandchildren when she married Wendell.
At her request, there will be no service. Instead, there will be a celebration of her life on August 10 from 2 to 4 p.m. at The Barn in The Farm on Hollywood Hill. In Grace’s memory, donations may be made to the educational fund or school of the donor’s choice, or to the Woodinville Garden Club Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1764, Woodinville, WA 98072.