We Remember

KNOX (nee Gordon), Colleen Gail

April 19, 1950 — September 11, 2014

Colleen left us on the morning of September 11th, after squeezing every last ounce of enjoyment out of her life. She was cherished by a vast array of family, friends, students and associates. She will be missed.

Colleen leaves behind her partner of 47 years, Donald, and her daughter and best friend, Caitlyn. She leaves siblings Kenn (Deb) Gordon; Kathy Hrynuik; Cameron (Sherri) Gordon; in-laws Liz Franzen; Rod Knox and nieces and nephews, Kelsey (Ryan) Corbett, Mackenzie (Kaitlin) Gordon; Justin and Selena Hrynuik; Parris, Phoenix and Fox Gordon; Tony (Jenn) Franzen; Kylie and Joe Knox; and Kristy (Joel) Colpron.

Colleen was born April 19th, 1950 in Vancouver but spent most of her life in the Central Okanagan. She graduated from Kelowna Secondary School and went on to attain a combined Education and English B.A. from UBC. She then spent the next three-and-a-half decades trying to educate the masses as a teacher, then as a teacher-librarian. She was an adamant supporter of the public school system, as it had given her the opportunity to make her way in life. She married her high-school sweetheart Donald. They started their married life in Vancouver but moved home to Kelowna in 1975. After returning to Kelowna, the young couple bought the infamous Peachland House. Built in 1904, this beautiful money pit became the stuff of legends. They moved back to the Knox family home on Bluebird Road in 1987 and stayed put.

Colleen had many passions. She loved life! She loved food, travel and people. She even tried, (while on a clear fluid diet), what she called ‘the raw oysters and caviar cure’ for cancer. She said it was worth a shot. She loved a great G & T, a dry English Gin Martini (extra olives), a glass of bubbly and a good glass of wine. As anyone who knew her can attest, she was the ‘Hostess with the Mostess’. No one ever left hungry.

She loved books. She read voraciously, sometimes reading multiple books a day. After she took her Library Science degree, literature gave her life focus. Her years in the library inspired and motivated many students, earning her the name ‘the Goddess of the Books’, quickly shortened to ‘the Goddess’. Her library at OKM provided a refuge for many students to feel safe and valued. Her ‘Thugs’ were her pride and she enjoyed updates on how their lives were unfolding when they left her care. She touched many lives and will be sadly missed but fondly remembered.

Thanks and appreciation goes out to the incredible team at the Cancer Centre of the Southern Interior, with special thanks to the nursing staff in the chemo room and to Dr. Susan Ellard and Dr. Gillian Fyles. Their genuine caring and support made the Cancer Centre a second home. Gratitude also goes to the Palliative care team who gave her such incredible technical and emotional support over the last month. Lastly, much love and thanks goes out to the multitude of friends and family who have supported us over this part of Colleen’s journey. Many others need to be thanked but we endeavour to do this in a more personal way.   The Celebration of her life will be held at 11am, September 20th at Trinity Baptist, 1905 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC.   In lieu of flowers, donations to Ovarian Cancer Canada, the Central Okanagan Bursary Society, BC Cancer Foundation, the Cancer Clinic of the Southern Interior (CCSI) or the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated. For those wishing to send a condolence, photos or share memories, may do so by scrolling down this page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”






11am, Saturday, September 20th

Trinity Baptist

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Ovarian Cancer Canada, the Central Okanagan Bursary Society, BC Cancer Foundation, the Cancer Clinic of the Southern Interior (CCSI) or the Canadian Cancer Society


Service Information

Service Details

The service for KNOX (nee Gordon), Colleen Gail is scheduled for 11am, Saturday, September 20th . Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Trinity Baptist

1905 Springfield Road Kelowna, BC


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  • Susan Rayner says:

    My sincerest condolences to you Don, and Caitlyn. Susan Rayner

  • Olivia Jantz says:

    Sending our sincere condolences to family and friends. Colleen was a wonderful person who will never be forgotten by her students.
    From Olivia, Kristina, and the Jantz Family.

  • dee and craig radford says:

    to Don and Family,It was with shock and great sadness we heard about Colleens passing.Please know that she touched everyone she met and she made a tremendous impact on so many people,young and not so young!Hold all your memories close to your heart and remember all the wonderful times you had together.We will never forget our “neighbour” and colleague;Don,thinking of you during this sad time!much love,Dee and Craig Radford

  • Dirk and candy Van Hees says:

    Don and Family, We are saddened to read the news of Colleens passing. Please know our thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Colleen was an inspiration to us all. I am so grateful that our lovely Indy and Emma brought us back together.. Even though Collen thought We got the BIGGER dog.. We are on our planned trip to Paris and will not be back in time to attend the service.. See you soon after my friend…at the dog park for sure.

  • Susan/John Hedrich says:

    Don and Caitlyn, our thoughts are with you. Colleen was indeed a special teacher. Our daughter, Tara, was fortunate enough to have Colleen for grades 5 and 6. Always a treat to visit with her at the school.

  • Nick and Sue van Hees says:

    Donald and Caitlyn,
    We are so sadden to hear of your loss. Know our thoughts are with you and all the family at this difficult time.

  • Anne Coster says:

    Such a fabulous educator. It was so wonderful to enjoy her at Peachland School.
    Colleen will be so missed.
    Hope your memories of her stay in your hearts always.

  • Brian Harms says:

    Don and Family – Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your wife, mother… She put up a great fight and will be sorely missed.
    Sincerely – Brian Harms

  • Jennifer says:

    What a tremendous loss. This lady saved and inspired me in so many ways. I was fortunate enough to know her both as a student and through family acquaintances. She believed in me when nobody else did, she fed me when I couldn’t feed myself, she cared when nobody else could even see me…can enough ever be said about such kindness? She changed my life for the better and I will never, ever forget her. Don and Caitlyn…I’m so sorry for this profound loss, my prayers are with you. Goodbye to an elegant, funny, compassionate, inspiring person. Rest in peace, wonderful lady. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Betty Zaseybida says:

    Dear Don and Caitlyn,

    May you find comfort in the concern of all who care about you. You are in our thoughts. Colleen will be missed by many.
    I will always remember all the fun we had at Peachland Elem. with Colleen as our respected and fun loving librarian.
    With sympathy,
    Betty and Norm Zaseybida

  • Lindsay Houghton says:

    Caitlyn, we are so very sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. We are thinking of you and sending big hugs to you in this very difficult time. Brad, Lindsay & Matthew

  • Ron, Lane & Spencer Shupe says:

    Dear Don and Caitlyn,

    Its was our sincere pleasure to know Colleen thoguth our dear friend Mauyreen Woodward. Collen’s love of ife, easy smile and kind and generous nature made us instant friends. She made life better for having lived and she will be missed.

  • Cynthia Waldek-Peters says:

    Don and Caitlyn:
    Saddened to hear about the passing of Colleen. She will be sadly missed.
    Our deepest sympathy
    Cynthia, Jack and Ashley Peters.

  • Jennifer & Gary Reece says:

    We were sad to hear that Colleen has lost her battle, Don…..I often wished I’d had the chance to work with her….I loved her zest and enthusiasm for life. Please accept our condolences.

  • Rev. Rita Andriello and Rev. Patrick Feren says:

    Aloha and Much Love from the Center Spiritual Living Kaua’i. We are sorry for your loss of Colleen. We know comfort and peace for you and your family at this time. May Love surround and infuse you. We send our prayers of Light and Love.

  • Caroline Nobbs (Johnson) says:

    My heart and prayers go out to you Don and your daughter Caitlin at this very sad time.Colleen was a lovely lady and an amazing human being.My deepest condolences.

  • Dave Gillam says:

    Terese and I were so sorry to hear of Colleen’s passing.We shared many good times together over the years.From our Peachland party days,prenatal,and our Kelowna encounters.We are sure she is as happy in her new home as she was with us.Our thoughts and prayers are with you Don and Caitlyn,the three of you will always be together.

  • Marilyn and Dennis Block says:

    Don and Caitlyn, we wish you both strength and love to get you through the loss of a great lady. We leave town on the 18th and so will miss the service you have planned. Sending hugs,
    Marilyn and Dennis Block

  • Marilyn Foster says:

    My thoughts are with you Don and your family…treasure your memories as the love lasts forever.

  • Heather and Michael Karabelas says:

    Dear Don and family,

    Please accept our sincere sympathy. Colleen was indeed a woman of spirit and strength. May you be blessed and sustained by the love and support of family and friends in the days ahead.

  • Cheri says:

    My thoughts and prayers to Don and all the family. Colleen was such a lovely lady in all ways and I know will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her. As one of her nurses, she was always a pleasure to take care of and be around. Cheri

  • Denise Paley (Gaudreau) says:

    Mr. Knox and Caitlyn,
    I am very sorry for your loss. Hold tight to all the fun times as they will get you through the months ahead.
    Denise Paley (Gaudreau)

  • Dana Davies says:

    To Don and family,
    I was sorry to hear of Colleens death. My connection comes from your moving to Peachland and into the money pit. Colleen and you Don and your small dogs were so generous inviting us the Davies family, visit our family home. I remember Colleen being a very lively warm and friendly young lady. She will be missed.

  • The Lobergs says:

    Don and Caitlyn
    Although we did not know Colleen for a very long time, we certainly enjoyed our visits with her. Such a spirit leaves an impression.
    May you find the courage and strength to live as she would want you to. You are wrapped in her grace.
    Trevor, Claire, Morgan and John

  • Dorothy Mills says:

    Dear don and family, Karina and I just wanted to let you know how sorry we are to hear of Colleen’s passing. She gave it a very brave fight, take care, Dorothy and Karina mills

  • Janice dickins says:

    My parents and colleens parents were best friends, when we were growing up and our families spent much time together. although Colleen was in the older sister category with my sister Carol…she was always kind..and I thought a fashion glamazon…my sincere condolences to all her family members and especially to her sister Kathy…my younger sister conspirator in those years.

  • The Stewart Family says:

    Dear Don (Mr Knox) We all send our deepest sympathy for the loss of the love of your life.
    We remember her being referred to as “The Goddess” of the OKM library. Our hearts go out to you. Mike, Barb, Meaghan, Bobby and Connor Stewart

  • Rebecca Webb says:

    Dear Don and Caitlyn,
    I was so saddened to hear of your loss. Even though I did not know her personally for long, she impacted my life greatly. She has inspired me to be strong and to fight as hard as I can on my own journey. I particularly loved that bracelet she wore to chemo. It is my new mantra! She was an amazing woman and will be missed dearly.
    Rebecca Webb

  • the Price family says:

    Don and Kaitlyn,
    Our whole family offers sincerest sympathies. Colleen was such a bundle of humour and giver of kindness. Jocelyn loved her to bits. Even Kevin, who knew Colleen less well than Jocelyn or Ryan was taken aback upon hearing of her passing. Sorry we could not attend the service. My mom had a 4th mini stroke Wed and Carol is in the U.S on a holiday.
    Know we are thinking of the two of you – a great husband and wonderful daughter.

  • Carole Wilson says:

    Dear Don, Caitlyn and family,
    Wanted to know how much we are thinking of you at this time. What a wonderful lady Colleen was. My children loved having her as a teacher/librarian at OKM. I had the privilege to have her wonderful help with not one but two OKM fashion shows in 2005 and 2007. Her kindness to everyone and lovely smile always lit up the room. She will never be forgotten.

  • Bill & Mae Cassar Torreggiani says:

    So sorry to learn of Colleen’s passing. I know my family knew her well and we pass on our deepest sympathies.

  • Lisa Middlemiss says:

    Dear Donald and Caitlyn,

    I was very sorry to hear that Colleen passed away and am very sorry for your loss. Colleen has touched me in my life in many ways…her love of reading, her generosity, her wisdom and her wonderful sense of humor…were just a few of the qualities that shone from her. Her library at OKM was an inspiring and welcoming place. Colleen will be greatly missed by so many.

  • Pat Warrender says:

    I was shocked and saddened to hear about the loss of Colleen. Library meetings were always more fun when she was there. I loved her spirited sense humour & of adventure…”wish me luck, I’m goin’ in” whether it was a rolling wave on a beach or retirement.Thinking of you at this very painful time.
    Pat Warrender

  • Suzanne and Ross Anderton. says:

    We share your sorrow Don and Kaitlyn. Your memories of such a wonderful person will see you through times when you are grieving most.
    Suzanne and Ross Anderton

  • Ron & Nita Komarnisky says:

    We were at Colleen’s services but couldn’t stay to convey our condolences, Colleen was without a doubt one of the nicest persons we’ve ever met with always such a glowing energy that consumes you with love. We will always remember her smile and her joyful presents as she is now in a peaceful place.

  • Jane & Don Rampone says:

    Don & Caitlyn,

    We are so saddened to hear about our dear friend, Colleen. We have just recently heard of her passing. We have you in our thoughts. Don, if you need a hug or if we can do something for you, let us know.

    We will remember our crazy, laughing Colleen! Until we meet again in our journeys… J & D

  • Laurie Stantic says:

    She will be fondly remembered and was dearly loved. She is part of a very beautiful family that we will remember with thanksgiving. With love and prayers,
    Laurie S.

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