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Mary S. Knowles

October 13, 1958 - July 20, 2019

Mary Scanlon Knowles

Mary Margaret Scanlon was born in Portland, Oregon to Thomas and Mildred (Carlsen) Scanlon on October 13th, 1958. Tom’s job as a civil engineer for Union Pacific Railroad briefly took the family to Hermiston, as well as Pocatello, Idaho, before finally settling down in Portland’s Rockwood area. Mary had two older brothers, Aaron and Steven, and one younger brother, Michael. Mary spent her childhood weekends at her Uncle Albert’s farm in Eagle Creek with her cousins, which is more commonly known as the Phillip Foster Farm. When she wasn’t there, you could find her with her childhood best friend, LeeAnn Roberts, either running around the neighborhood, chasing after boys in high school, or going on Sunriver trips as adults. The two maintained a tight friendship for over 54 years.

Mary graduated from Gresham High School in 1976 and enrolled at Mt. Hood Community College in the fall. It was there that she met Dorene Walker, where the two of them became fast friends, and the girls took frequent trips to Tillamook together. In 1977, she graduated from Mt. Hood’s legal secretary program, and with the agreement that the college would only send the best of the best, Tonkon Torp LLP hired her as a full-time legal secretary the same year. She became a paralegal in 1991, and November 2019 would have been her 42nd anniversary with the firm.

Mary’s younger brother Michael was born mentally disabled, and their mom Millie was very involved in Mike’s classrooms. It was in one of his classes that Millie met Tari Bates. Millie played something of a matchmaker and introduced Tari and Mary. The girls hit it off instantly and it turned from friendship to family. Mary was even Tari’s maid of honor when she married Jim Card. Soon after, she met Tom and Margie Whaley and Nancy Mitchell. The six became inseparable, until the Whaleys moved to Texas. When Tari and Jim had their boys Jory and Keaton (who Mary considered to be like her own sons), the group got bigger and they took lots of beach trips, often with LeeAnn (Roberts) and Ken Redifer, their son Bryce, and Mary’s nephews. The latest and greatest addition to the gang was Dan Fuglee, who was introduced to Mary the night before her wedding.

In 1992, Mary and David Knowles were married. David already had a son, Kyle, and two nephews, Brandon and Taylor. Mary welcomed and loved them like they were hers, and Taylor lived with Mary off and on for years. In 1995, they welcomed their first girl, Emma Claire. She was Mary’s “Bug.” In 1999, they had Madeline Margaret, who was “Mooch.”

Following Mary’s divorce in 2001, she devoted her whole life to her girls. Dance classes, swimming lessons, sleepovers, shopping trips, vacations, school conferences, you name it. Mary’s love, hugs, kisses, and support never wavered, even though she had to juggle being a busy, working, single mom. She was the perfect image of what a true mother should be.

Mary was an active member of the East Portland Moose Lodge, where both her father and brother Aaron served as governors and administrators. You could often find her sitting (and gossiping) at “The View” table with her brother Aaron and sister-in-law Cathy. Mary always wished that she had a sister. Well when Aaron met Cathy, boy did she get one! The two talked and often saw each other every day, and they were truly bonded as sisters. Mary loved throwing her annual summer parties, baking and cooking for all her friends and family, taking vacations to Cannon Beach, and of course, shopping at Nordstrom.

After complications following a hip replacement surgery on May 31st, 2019, Mary passed on July 20th, 2019, with both her daughters at her side.

Finally, Emma and Madeline would like to thank all of Mary’s friends and family, including the Moose crew and Tonkon Torp, who all have offered lots of love, support, meals, and much more.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas and Millie Scanlon; brothers, Aaron Winegar, Steven and Michael Scanlon; and nephew, Aaron Winegar III. She is survived by her daughters, Emma and Madeline Knowles; stepson, Kyle Knowles (Brooke); sister-in-law, Cathy Winegar; nephews, Randy and Bryan Winegar and Taylor Ruddick; nieces, Melissa Hernandez and Lacy Catabay (Alvin); and six great nephews and nieces.

A celebration of Mary’s life will be held Saturday, August 10th, 2019 at 4:00 PM at the East Portland Moose Lodge, 16411 NE Halsey St., Portland, OR 97230. CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

In lieu of flowers, the family suggest a donation to

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Mary and two daughters

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