Karla Joan CRONKHITE
Passed away on June 21, 2020
Karla Joan Cronkhite passed peacefully in her sleep on June 21, 2020. She had fought valiantly to recover from a second, massive stroke in early May, but its effects were too devastating.
Karla was raised in Enumclaw, Washington, where her parents owned and operated Harold’s Motel and Restaurant. In 1955, she was chosen as Miss Tacoma Steward based on her original essay, poise, personality, and appearance. She went on to be crowned Miss International Steward by the International Stewards and Caterers Association.
She graduated from the University of Washington in 1959 with a degree in art education. At the UW, she was a member and President of Chi Omega sorority. The UW is also where she met her future husband, Leland James (“Jim”) Cronkhite, in a moment both later described as love at first sight. Karla and Jim were married on August 1, 1959.
Following graduation, Karla taught at the junior high level in the Shoreline School District. She retired from teaching to prepare for the arrival of her daughter, Cynthia, and to focus full-time on being a homemaker, wife, and mother. Her passion for proper use of the English language continued throughout her life.
The Cronkhite family spent many happy years living in the greater Seattle area, taking road trip vacations, and boating on local lakes. In addition to keeping an immaculate home, Karla enjoyed gardening and meticulously maintaining her landscaping, even mowing her own lawn well into her later years. In the 1990s, she became interested in Depression-era glassware, regularly attending local glass shows with Cynthia. An avid football fan, Karla enthusiastically supported first the UW Huskies and later the Seattle Seahawks. She also remained fond of the water, enjoying many meals at local waterfront restaurants.
Karla was petite and soft-spoken, and people often commented on how sweet she was. Yet she was also strong and fiercely determined, fighting her way back from her first stroke in 2017 to resume living independently. Those close to Karla knew her generous spirit and how totally and unconditionally she loved her daughter, as she often said, with all of her heart.
Karla was preceded in death by her beloved grandmother, Hilda Hyppa; by her parents, Harold and Lina McCutchen; and by her loving husband, Jim, who passed one day shy of their 38th wedding anniversary. Surviving family includes her daughter, Cynthia; her sister, Lynne McCutchen, and brother-in-law, Ed Hoessman; and her cousin, Roger Hyppa, and his wife, Kristine.
At Karla’s request, there will be no funeral or memorial service. Those who wish may honor her life by donating to the American Stroke Association: https://www.heart.org/ or to the Evergreen Health Foundation: https://www.evergreenhealthfoundation.com/
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Karla Joan CRONKHITE
Pat & Paul Santulli
June 30, 2020
So sorry to see this notice. Your Mom and Dad were two of our favorite people.
Karla was so grateful to have you as her daughter. When you get a moment, please reach out to me
Best Regards, Pat
June 24, 2020
Cynthia, I am so very sorry for your loss. Your mother’s unwavering support for all you’ve done was always so heartwarming to hear about. She loved you well, and she taught you to love well. Rest In Peace, Karla!