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Obituary: Gunning, Nona Jean

Sun., Sept. 16, 2012

Age 88

Nona Jean

On September 11, 2012, Gene Gunning, friend and mother, left this earth and flew on eagles’ wings to let Him hold her in the palms of His Hands.

Nona Jean (Brown) Gunning, later known to everyone as Gene, was born on November 27, 1923 in Denver, Colorado.

She attended high school in Salt Lake City and later moved with her parents, Ray and Grace Brown, to Spokane, Washington.

After completing nursing training at St. Luke’s Hospital in Spokane, Gene married a wheat farmer, Lewis Gunning, and moved to Davenport, Washington where she raised three children.

She later moved to Spokane, Washington where she lived out her last 29 years.

Her passion was sewing, gardening and cooking.

In fact, she was such a creative and improvising cook, that the family would say, “Oh, that was so good, too bad we’ll never have that again!”

Gene was an avid reader and continued to expand her knowledge of alternative medicine.

She was a fanatic music buff and, indeed, did join the Spokane Opera Buffs.

She was also involved in the local Waldenstrom’s Lymphona group for which she was one of the longest survivors of the disease.

Gene’s varied interest and travels took her from viewing nature in national parks, to the sunny beaches of Waikiki, Hawaii, to shopping in China Town, San Francisco, to listening to live piano music at the old Jackson Hotel in California Gold Rush country, to fly fishing the Bitterroot River in Montana, and to touring what is called, “The Cascade Loop”.

She liked to ‘winter’ in California at her daughter’s home and also in Green Valley, Arizona.

She was certainly a people person.

No matter where she traveled, people would comment, “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”

To her, it didn’t matter if they were complete strangers, she always greeted new people as if they were longtime friends.

Gene is preceded in death by her only sibling, Joy Morrison.

She is survived by her sons, Mark Gunning and Brian Gunning; her daughter, Janice Willing; longtime friend and partner, Martin Graber; granddaughter, Joise Gunning; and a niece and two nephews and their children.

Private family services will be held at a later date.

Please visit Gene’s tribute and leave a condolence at Arrangements have been entrusted to:


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