Edwina Nelson Gannis

Edwina Nelson Gannis

January 5, 1949, to November 21, 2020.

Edwina, 70, passed away the evening of November 21st, 2020, at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, with her husband and son by her side. The last years of her life were spent battling the effects of multiple heart failures. She was tremendously tough and courageous in dealing with her persisting health issues. The word “fighter” does not do her justice.

Edwina was born in Everett, Washington to Edwin Nelson, and Kathryn “Kay” Nelson. She graduated from the University of Washington, where she met her husband of nearly 50 years Michael Gannis, and would later receive a Masters’s degree in Sociology. Edwina met Michael at the Century Tavern, next to the university, and was engaged within a month and married on June 6th, 1971.

She became a high school teacher spending most of her career at Cleveland High School, in Seattle, where she taught Social Studies, History, and Journalism. She was devoted to helping her students reach their utmost potential.

Edwina was beloved by the Cleveland HS Community and loved them just as much.

Edwina was extremely kind and intelligent. She had a voracity for adventure, travel, food/wine and learning. Summers were spent with her family soaking in as many different cultures in as many different locations as she could. If she wasn’t with her family
on an adventure she could be found hosting parties for friends, at brunch with a Sunday newspaper finishing the NYT crossword, or playing golf. She always had something to do or somewhere to go.

A loving, caring, and thoughtful wife and mother, She leaves behind her husband Michael Gannis, her son Zachary, her sister Edalyn Wicklund, her nephew Brandon Wicklund, and niece Haley Saunders. Edwina left an indelible footprint wherever she stepped and will be sorely missed.


This message goes out to the Cleveland High School staff and students from about 1980 to 2010.

Edwina was a superb Social Studies teacher and a wonderful friend.

When I wanted to know about European History, she would know it… Edwina was a genius, she knew everything about everything. She never acted superior when she knew so much. It was easy to ask her questions; she never made me feel uncomfortable.

Edwina was funny, warm, generous, unique & kind. I have so many great memories of Edwina. She was a great person.

Faith Ann Beatt

Richard Lee Dyksterhuis

Richard Lee Dyksterhuis — a CHS teacher, passed away on June 10, 2020, at 93 years of age. He was born to Eddie Dyksterhuis and Pearl Wright Dyksterhuis in Denver, Colorado, on May 20, 1927. After graduating high school at age eighteen, Richard joined the Army in June 1945 and served overseas until October 1948.

On his return to the United States, he pursued degrees in higher education and served for many years as a teacher and administrator for the Seattle Public Schools. The schools he served include Monroe, Blaine, Ballard, Ingraham, Rainier Beach, West Seattle, Nathan Hale, Garfield, Cleveland, and Meany.

After retirement, he worked for over three decades as an activist promoting the completion of safe sidewalks for streets in North Seattle, including Linden Avenue North, the street of his home. As an advocate for pedestrian safety, he was featured in the 2010 documentary, “A Different Path.”

Richard is preceded in death by his parents; his brother Mort Dyksterhuis; his wife JoAnn Presler; and his longtime companion Cleta Hughes. He is remembered fondly by his many students, his dear friends, his fellow activists, and his loving family. He is survived by his children George (Gloria), Roger (Jamie), and Carol (Ken), five grandchildren, and two nieces.

“May you walk through forests of magnificent trees, listen to the songs of harmonious birds, hand in hand with your beloved Cleta. Your storytelling, your quest for justice, your thirst for knowledge, and your ability to build a kinship with a stranger while walking the sidewalks you had built, is a legacy that will live on. You spread kindness to all, and found joy in the little things.”

With all my love, your darling, proud, and blessed granddaughter.