E. Jean (MCDOUGALL) KNUTSON 1932-2014

In loving memory of Jean Knutson, who went to God’s garden April 29, 2014

Jean, 81, passed away peacefully, while enjoying the warmth of a beautiful evening in her backyard. She was born in Mount Vernon, WA June 20, 1932 to William and Eleanor McDougall, the second of three beautiful girls. Jean grew up on the McDougall farm in the Stillaguamish Valley, attending the Norman School for eight years and graduating from Stanwood High School in 1950, where she played the trombone in the marching band.

Jean married William “Bill” Knutson December 8, 1950, and they raised six children in the Naval base cities of Long Beach, Monterey and San Diego, California, and after Bill left the Navy in 1965, in Everett, Washington, until finally settling in their West Seattle home in 1968, where she lived until her final day.
Jean became an avid gardener in San Diego, and in the late 1970s she developed a passion for growing dahlias. At her peak she had 250 dahlias in her front and back yards, and another 125 in her son Jeff’s yard. She was a member of the Puget Sound Dahlia Society. She and Bill travelled across Washington during the summer to the weekly dahlia shows, enjoying the company of the many friends they made, while also capturing many awards for their prize showings. Jean advanced to become a judge at the events she attended. She sold dahlia tubers to growers around the world, and travelled to England, New Zealand and Australia to tour the gardens of her dahlia friends. Her attendance, as well as her entries, were enjoyed by all, and have been missed since she cut back a few years ago.

Predeceased by her husband Bill (1997) and her sister Mary Ann Youngren (1993), Jean is survived by her six children, Michael (Carol) Knutson, Jeffrey Knutson, Kristi (Bob) Besaw, Bill (Gloria) Knutson, Lori (Lenny) Baron and Mari (Chris) Knutson Cook; 19 grandchildren; and her sister, Kathleen (Jack) Madson.

Jean will be missed by all for her wisdom, patience and friendship, as well as her black-bottom cupcakes and cookies that were always there when you stopped by to see her.

A celebration of her life will be held Friday, May 23, 2014, 9:30 a.m., at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in West Seattle.

Published in The West Seattle Herald Section of The Westside Weekly May 16, 2014