Gunhild Marie Knox

January 17, 1918December 7, 2018

Gunhild Marie Knox (Jonnie) was born January 17, 1918 in Sioux Falls SD. She was the oldest daughter of Alfred and Maria Johnson who had immigrated from Sweden. She had two older brothers, Arthur and Roland, and a sister Sylvia. They were raised on farms in southwest MN close to the small town of Lakeview where she attended high school after her earlier education in a one room school house. She had wonderful memories of this time with all the activities of running a farm and the community around her. She went to Minneapolis in 1938 to attend business school and ultimately worked for 8 years as a house companion for the wife of a well-known eye doctor, Dr. Smith. As they had no children they essentially "adopted" her and introduced her to symphonies and other high cultural events. They sent her to New York in 1939 to attend the World's Fair. It was quite a change from country living on the farm. In 1941 she met Army lieutenant Henry Knox on a blind date arranged by her sister. His unit was sent to the Philippines in November 1941 and he became a POW in May 1942. Upon his return they married in 1946 at Dr. Smith's home. The next 8 years included several moves due to Henry's Army reassignments and the arrival of two sons Richard (1947) and Henry Jr (1951). They settled in Portland in 1955 and moved in to the house she lived in until her passing. She joined and was active in Peace Lutheran Church the same year. She loved her family and kept in close contact with her siblings in Minnesota and Henry's in Wisconsin. She was thrilled when her grandson Bryan was born in 1977 and delighted when he married Livy and so happy when grandchildren Asher and Geneva arrived. She also loved her neighbors and her fellow parishioners and shared in their joy and sorrow. As she grew older she missed the neighbors and parishioners she had known that had moved or passed away. Even as she grew frail she had an incredible memory and was engaged in news and world events. She remembered everyone's birthday and loved to relate stories of her friends. In addition to family and friends she loved music, travel, dancing and all the seasons. She had a wonderful sense of humor. She was a gift to all who knew her. Henry passed at age 84 in June 2000. Gunhild passed peacefully December 7, 2018. She was 100. Her ashes will be interred with Henry's at Willamette National Cemetery. Underneath their names and the dates will be one word. "LOVE" She is survived by her sons Richard and Henry, grandson Bryan and his wife Livy, grandchildren Asher and Geneva, sister in law Betty and several nephews and nieces. Service is at 11:00 am Dec 29 at Peace Lutheran Church, 2201 Rosa Parks Way, Portland OR 97217. Please forward any donations to Peace Lutheran Church.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, December 29, 2018

Gunhild Marie Knox

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