Evelyn Warnken was born on June 16, 1921 in Attleboro, Mass., to Theodore and Mary Gingras. She passed away on March 5, 2020, at 98 years old in Anacortes, Wash. She had two siblings, Harold, who was in the Air Force during WWII, and Eleanor, who was a nurse as a captain in the Army in WWII as well.
Evelyn graduated from Attelboro High School in 1939 and was voted Best Girl Blusher. She went on to work as a telephone operator, attend the Rhode Island School of Design, and, later, joined the sales team at Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.
She met her first husband, Charles Knox, Sr., who was a salesman, and moved to Toledo, Ohio where she had her son, Chuck Knox. They were transferred to Great Neck, NY, where she had her daughter, Giselle (Knox) Dew. They, then, moved to South Holland, Ill., and then onto Muncie, Ind.
Regardless of where she lived, Evelyn was always socially active. In New York, she was the president of the Welcome Wagon Committee. While in Toledo, she was a member of the Business and Professional Women’s Club, and, in Muncie, she was the president of the New Residents Club.
She met her second husband, Mel Warnken, in Edina, Minn. They moved to Broomfield, Colo., where they spent many years and enjoyed traveling to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and Europe. Her son, Chuck, was stationed in Oak Harbor, Wash., with the Navy, and her daughter, Giselle, moved to Washington state with her family, so Evelyn and Mel decided to move to the great Northwest to be closer to family and spend their retirement years.
However, Evelyn never really retired. She worked at an insurance agency in Oak Harbor and then went on to model for some of the city’s leading clothing stores. She was a member of the Whidbey Island chapter of Professional Secretaries International, co-chair of the Alice Esterly Guild’s annual fundraiser, president of the Oak Harbor Nav-Air Emblem Club, founder of the New England Club, and a member of the Oak Harbor Elks.
In 1983, Evelyn spearheaded a project to line the streets of Oak Harbor with flags for 10 patriotic holidays. Sponsored by the Oak Harbor Lion’s Club, she gathered over $1,000 from local businesses to buy enough flags for the city to put out, which they still do to this day.
Evelyn loved to bake and always had a tin of goodies waiting for guests when they arrived. She loved Siamese cats, playing bridge, holidays (especially Christmas), and cooking.
She is survived by her son, Charles Knox and his wife, Maria Knox, and their daughter, Karen Knox; her daughter, Giselle (Knox) Dew and her husband, Michael Dew, and their daughters, Yvonne Dew, Michelle Dew, Nicolle (Dew) Walsh and her husband, Michael Walsh; step-son, Edward Warnken and wife, Robin Warnken, and their daughter, Kristen Warnken, and son, Andy Warnken; and nine great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Theodore and Mary Gingras; siblings, Harold Gingras and Eleanor Kruchten; and her husband, Mel Warnken.