Life Story / Obituary
In Loving Memory of Gail B. Knightly, November 26, 1934 - January, 19, 2022
Gail Blum Knightly passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 19, 2022, at the age of 87 at her final resting home of Boardman Lake Glens, in Traverse City, Michigan.
Gail was born on November 26, 1934, to Erwin (Ernie) Blum and Roberta Gillies in Grosse Pointe Shores, MI where she lived and attended school until she married Thomas J. Knightly and moved to Indiana. Gail was proudly capped as a Nurse at the prime age of 16 and proceeded to work many years is various nursing professions from pediatrics to the ER until finding her calling in mental health services. She went on to receive her Masters of Social Work from Governors State University in the early Eighties and enjoyed a successful career in counseling in Gary, IN, Manistee MI; finally then retiring after many decades from Munson Medical in Traverse City, MI.
Affectionately called GG by her grandchildren and close family friends, Gail shared her passion of the Michigan North Woods from her beloved home in Thompsonville, MI for over 40 years. Friends, relatives and all who loved Gail, experienced the joy of her cozy cabin, always surrounded by her furry four-legged companions. It was there that Gail taught her children and grandchildren to revel in the magic of nature with meandering walks through her woods to the Betsy River and spending countless hours in surrounding forests all throughout Northern Michigan.
Beyond the wild of trees and forests, Gail shared her voracious appetite of skiing with all who knew her. Gifting ski passes, loaning skies to visitors, and spending day and night on the slopes at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville were but simple winter rituals. Skiing with her Over 70s club and volunteering as a Crystal ski hostess, Gail enjoyed endless hours playing in the snow.
Her passion for the woods and skiing were further complimented by her love of the water. In the early years, summer days were spent on Lake Michigan beaches in Gary, IN with her dear friends and children. As the years passed, countless trips kayaking and swimming the Betsy with her grandchildren occurred and then progressed to kayaking and sailing with various ladies' clubs. Everyone knew water was never far from her heart.
She is predeceased by her parents, Ernie H. Blum and Roberta Gillies Blum, her ex-husband, Thomas J. Knightly and her dear son Sean Thomas Knightly. Gail leaves many to cherish her memories including her brother, Thomas (Tommy) Blum, her dear daughter Anne L. Knightly, her beloved grandchildren, Erin C. Busk, Jacob T. Busk, Ryan T. Knightly, Dana M. Knightly, her daughter-in law, Nancy Knightly, her nieces, Claudia, Jennifer & Andy, her dear friends Nancy Larson and Cari Perry and the many neighborhood children from the alley in Gary, IN who loved her as both second mom and emergency nurse including Tracy & Kelly Brough, Christine Livingston, Sandy Wilmore, Alex Wilmore, Kevin Ball and the Rigg boys.
A simple celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested for Betsie Valley District Library, Thompsonville, MI.
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