- About Us
Mary J. KnoxDecember 16, 1936 ~ March 1, 2017 (age 80)
Mary Jeanne Schultz Knox; beloved Momma to Christine (Mark) Knox-Davidek, Cathie Knox-Browning, Theresa Knox and Stacie (Bruce) Hart, and dear Grandma to Elise, Max, Jack, Elliott and Hazel, passed away peacefully on March 1, 2017. Mary was happiest surrounded by her kids and grandkids, some books (preferably mysteries, sci-fi or self-help) and a never-ending supply of coffee with cream. She loved performing arts of any kind, her favorite opera was Madame Butterfly, and she loved to laugh. Mary had a knack for seeing humor in life and her zest for life and love of people was apparent. Her personal warmth and big, joyful laugh opened a wide path for her to indulge her love of socializing and she leaves friends in every generation.
Our mom was a life-long learner; in the 1970s, she completed the undergraduate degree she began at Ohio State University in the late 1950s, earning both her bachelors and her M. Ed. at the University of Washington. She taught middle and high school students for Seattle Public Schools, and she taught English and drama and directed plays at Alamo High School in Alamo, N.D.
Mary specialized in helping women struggling with addiction as an alcohol and drug addiction counselor at North Dakota State Hospital in Jamestown, and at several locations in Seattle. Mary took continuing education classes throughout her life, with interests in the issues of younger women and girls in recovery, counseling the grieving and family dynamics. Her final professional stints were at Eagles Wing Counseling at St. Paul's in Bremerton, WA and the Kitsap County Crisis Center, where in 2013 she was honored with the Violet Mays award for fostering excellence among volunteers; which our mom really treasured as she and Violet were good friends.
When she went to her Higher Power, Mary had 37 years of sobriety in AA.
Our mom was a deeply spiritual person and she unfailingly encouraged our dreams and supported our endeavors, even when she disagreed.
She began her life in Bowbells, N.D. with her devoutly Catholic and early feminist mother, Agnes (O'Gorman) Schultz, also a teacher, her engineer father, Eugene Schultz, and brother Bill. She met our Dad, Larry Knox, of Sherwood, N.D. (1934-2002), in 4-H. They married in 1962 and moved west. Stopping at a crossroads en route, they chose to go north to Washington rather than south to California and landed in the Puget Sound area, first settling in White Center when our dad worked for Boeing. They later moved and bought a home in Federal Way, where the four of us spent our early years. Our mom taught pre-school part-time and was a Brownie/Girl Scout leader and our Dad worked for Segale Construction building roads, including I-5. It was in Federal Way that our mom finally got her own piano again and she enjoyed playing classical, pop and ragtime melodies, especially those from the movieThe Sting. Our parents divorced in 1975, and we moved with our mom to Seattle, where she went back to college and graduate school at the UW.
There will be a ferry-based memorial on Saturday, April 1. Seattle participants will board the 8:30 a.m. sailing from Seattle to Bremerton and Kitsap folks can join us by boarding the 9:45 a.m. sailing from Bremerton to Seattle. On the trip to Seattle, the captain will slow down the boat for a 5-minute observance where we, with help from Mother Kathleen Kingslight of St. Paul's in Bremerton, will commit her ashes to the ocean, which our mom loved.
Washington State Ferries (WSF) request that all participants be walk-ons, as they cannot guarantee cars will make any particular sailing . WSF also only permits biodegradable tributes, so if you would like to bring a flower or two, please be sure there are no artificial components (ribbon, metal, etc.). We have made a reservation for 11 a.m. at Ivar's Acres of Clams, within walking distance of the ferry terminal in downtown Seattle, for anyone who would like to join us for a meal out, another thing Mary loved.
In lieu of flowers (almost all of which our mom was allergic to), please donate to Planned Parenthood or the ACLU in Mary Knox's name.