Gretchen (“You know I’m 96”) was born on March 17, 1926 in Hoquiam, Washington to Frederick and Marjorie Gibcke. She passed on June 29, 2022 in Puyallup,Washington.
She was born and raised in Hoquiam, graduating from Hoquiam High School in the class of 1944.
She was very proud to be the daughter of a Hoquiam fireman, where her dad later became the Hoquiam fire chief.
Gretchen was a big baseball fan. She loved the Yankees and had a sweet collection of Joe DiMaggio memorabilia. Gretchen married Theodore M. Lea in 1950. They followed Ted’s teaching career, living in Ellensburg, Wapato and finally settling in Auburn, where they raised three sons. While they raised a family, she also had time for a 25 year career at Green River Community College.
Gretchen loved her family, friends, reading, knitting and an occasional trip to Las Vegas. Over the years she knitted and donated dozens of caps to Children’s Orthopedic Hospital.
She and Ted traveled throughout Europe. They made 2 trips to Norway to visit family. Several camping and fishing trips were taken all over the northwest.
For the last 9 years, Gretchen lived at Cedar Ridge in Bonney Lake where she made new friendships that she cherished.
Gretchen is survived by her sons Thomas M. Lea (Debbie), Frederick J. Lea (Heidi), and Tory M. Lea. Grandchildren Megan Lea-Gaynor (Tommy), Hunter Lea (Melinda), Lindsey Lea, Carina Lea (Matt), Erik Lea (Madeline) and Chase Lea.
She adored her Great Grandchildren Landon Lea, Kieran Lea and Toryn Lea.
Gretchen was preceded in death by her husband Ted.
The Lea Family would like to thank the staff at Cedar Ridge for their kindness and professionalism toward our Gretchen.