Gwendolyn Ann Thomas Kress passed away suddenly on December 14, 2019. She was born on November 9,1939 in Portland Oregon, to Mary Ruth Henderson Thomas and Leon Benda Thomas. She grew up in Lakewood, Washington. She graduated from Clover Park High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington which is where she met her future husband.
Gwen married Jerry Kress on June 11, 1961 in Tacoma. They lived in Ann Arbor Michigan, and Berwyn Heights, Maryland before moving to American Falls. She taught elementary school in Michigan for a few years before the birth of her first child, Jon. Tim and later Kristin were added to the family, and after 11 years in Maryland they moved to Idaho. She taught in the American Falls School District as a Kindergarten teacher for 25 years. She loved teaching children and tried to instill in them a love of reading and learning. She always took great joy in meeting her former students out in public and seeing how they had grown into wonderful adults.
She was a caring teacher, a wonderful wife, and loving mother. She was an active member of St. John’s Lutheran Church. She also spent time as a den mother for Cub Scouts. She was a member of the St. John’s choir and bell choir and also served in countless other ways. She loved reading mysteries, doing crossword puzzles, enjoyed swim class, scrapbooking, traveling, and spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchild. She had a life-long love of music and made sure that all her children took music lessons and would take them to concerts and the orchestra.
She was preceded in death by her husband Jerry, her son Timothy, her mother Ruth, and father Leon. She is survived by her children Jon (Melanie) Kress of Rockland; Kristin (Matthew), grandchildren Madelyn, and Timothy Kress-Weitenhagen of Idaho Falls grandchildren James (Kelci) Kress of Tennessee and Justin (Hailey) Kress of Pocatello, and great-grandchild Kane; and brother George (Ann) Thomas of Washington.
Viewing will be Friday, December 20, 2019 from 5 - 7 pm at the Davis-Rose Mortuary, and the funeral service will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church in American Falls on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 11:00 am. A brief viewing will be held at the church from 10:00 - 10:45 am. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Luther Heights Bible Camp, PO Box 389, Shoshone, ID 83352 or the St. John’s Lutheran Church Scholarship Fund.
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