Mary K. Van Couvering, 80, of Spokane, WA passed away on October 26, 2019 at Hospice House South with her three children and her brother Ray Van Couvering at her side and her surviving brothers, John and David, and one niece, Cari (Brown) McCullen visiting in the immediate days before.
Mary was born October 18, 1939 in Downey, CA to Anthony and Mabel (Pettes) Van Couvering. Mary was preceded in death by a younger sister Anella (VC) Brown and older brother Carl Van Couvering. Mary and her siblings grew up in Downey and Villa Park, CA. She attended Orange High School in Orange, CA. Mary began working in the title insurance industry in Santa Ana, CA in 1957. After having three children, she and her husband, Donald Gulledge, moved to Spokane, WA in 1967 where she was employed by House and Home, then Attorney Jack Bennett between 1968 and 1970. From 1970 - 1975 Mary worked for Pioneer National Insurance Company as title secretary. Mary was hired by First American Title Company of Spokane in 1975 as a Title Officer, became Manager in 1977 and then President from 1978 until she retired.
Mary was involved in many boards and associations such as Spokane Homebuilders Assoc., Spokane Area Chamber of Commerce, Spokane Area Economic Development Council, Washington Land Title Association, among others. She was a member of Rotary and a charter member of Spokane Chapter Executive Women International, which elected her Woman of the Year in 1984. She was also a charter member of Spokane Association of Professional Mortgage Women and was named 1984 Boss of the Year, APMW.
After retirement, Mary's love for dogs led her to volunteering her time to Spokane Humane Society and fostering many dogs who were recovering from surgeries before they could become adopted. She also began volunteering at the Southside Senior/Community Center where she became very involved with the people and activities there as well as serving on the board.
Mary was always busy, participating in many Center events. She loved knitting, crocheting, pinnacle, Mah-Jongg, line dancing, bingo, gardening, music and musicals at the Opera House. She drove every year to the Annual Pettes-Van Couvering Family Reunion in Oregon taking her little dogs as travel companions. She will be missed by everyone who knew her. In addition to her three surviving siblings, Mary is survived by her two daughters Cheryl and Kathleen Gulledge and one son Don Gulledge and daughter-in-law Shari (Hamel) Gulledge; five grandchildren Christie Boss and Mark Boss, Donny Gulledge, Nicole (Gulledge) Holloway and Taylor Gulledge; three great-grandchildren Bethanie (Boss) Hulce, Morgan Hulce and Sadie Rae Holloway; her nieces, nephews, cousins and many family relatives.
In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in Mary’s name to www.SpokaneHumaneSociety.org / Donate / Memorials and Honorariums (tabs). A Celebration of Life will be held from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, Saturday, April 25, 2020 at Manito Park's East Duncan Meadow in Spokane, Washington.
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