Gail Karges died peacefully of natural causes on July 2, 2020, with family by her side.
Gail was born on Sept. 12, 1931, in Evansville, Ind., to Edith and Stephen W. Cook. She was the oldest of three children and grew up on Riverside Drive in Evansville, and went to boarding school at Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Ill. She attended the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education. While attending U of M, Gail dated and subsequently married the love of her life, David E. Karges, also from Evansville. Gail and David went on to live in Indianapolis, where their first child was born, and then moved to Germany for two years and then to San Francisco, where David finished his orthopedics residency. In 1961, the young family, now with three children, moved to Seattle, and two more children were born there. Seattle was home to Gail and David for over 50 years.
Gail had many talents: She was a fantastic cook and entertainer (she even had Alice Waters of Chez Panisse over for dinner!); gardener; published poet and writer. In her later years, she also became an accomplished painter and watercolor artist. Gail and David both loved the arts and literature, but she was the crossword puzzler. Gail volunteered for many Seattle nonprofits over the years and sat on the board of the Intiman Theatre. Gail and David traveled the world with good friends to birdwatch and hike. They loved to visit their two daughters in Sun Valley, Idaho, and to cross-country ski at Prairie Creek and birdwatch at Silver Creek. She had many fond memories of time spent at their remote family cabin on John’s Island in the San Juan Islands. Gail loved to spend time with friends and family near and far, including her seven grandchildren.
Gail was preceded in death by her husband, David, of 61 years in 2014 and her son Steve in 1976. She is survived by her children: Kate Rosso (Bob and Stephen), David Karges Jr. (Kim, Elles and Adrien), Chris Karges (Mary, Lily, Michael and Will) and Mary Hall (Mat and Joe), and by her younger brother, Stephen W. Cook, who lives in Evansville, Ind.
We are forever grateful to our amazing mom for the love, laughs and care she generously shared and for the many memorable experiences we had together.
There is no memorial service planned at this time. Contributions in Gail’s honor can be made to The Nature Conservancy of Washington or Idaho; UW Center for Urban Horticulture; and Mountain Humane animal shelter in Hailey, Idaho.