Born: August 23, 1950
Died: June 02, 2014
Freddi Lynn Van Gemert passed away in grace on Monday, June 2, 2014 in the company of her family. She was born on August 23, 1950 to Mary Elizabeth and Willis Cecil Cook at Fairchild Air Force Base. After attending Marycliff High School, she graduated from Washington State University with a degree in nursing. She completed a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Texas and returned to the Washington State University College of Nursing to serve as a disciplined, but much loved, nursing instructor for 28 years. She was introduced to her admittedly lucky husband, John, on a blind date in 1971. They married a year later and subsequently lived in Germany and Texas before settling back down in Spokane to raise five children.
Freddi taught her children to appreciate education, health, and, above all, the importance of family. A self-described tomboy growing up, she passed on her competitive nature and love of sports to all her children. Also being a woman of strong faith, she was often seen sneaking off to the gym bathroom to pray a rosary if her childrens’ games became close. Freddi was so passionate about the WSU cougars, she could hardly stand to watch them play. She joked that sending off one of her children to attend UW was her biggest failure in life.
In truth, she had no failures. She was an exceedingly gracious, fun-loving, and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. As much energy as her family demanded, she remained equally dedicated to her many dear friends and students. In what little time she saved for herself, she enjoyed and excelled at gardening and painting. Her wonderful cooking and baking, knitted hats and gloves, and handmade Christmas ornaments will be missed dearly, but her laughter and story-telling will be missed most of all.
She is survived by her husband of 42 years, John, five children: John (Juli), Becky Coombs (Cody), Mark, Lisa, Sara Huter (Bryan), five grandchildren: Emma, Greta, Clay, Sawyer, Coraline, and sister, Pam Estes (Ron). A private service for the family was held at Greenwood Memorial Terrace. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you consider a contribution to the Van Gemert Family Nursing Scholarship Fund, care of the WSU College of Nursing, PO Box 1495, Spokane, WA 99208 (payable to WSU College of Nursing).