Michelle Renee “Missy” Gruen Gilkerson, 43, passed away on Thursday, May 30, 2013 after a courageous battle with cancer, with family and friends by her side.
She was born Feb. 4, 1970 in Honolulu, HI, but grew up in Farmington, CA. After graduating from Escalon High School in 1988, she attended CSU Northridge. She took a year off to see the world, an experience she always treasured. She finished her studies and graduated from Humboldt State University in 1994.
She loved the area and a local farmer named Dean, and decided to make the area her home. She and Dean were married and she became his partner in Earth N Hands, a Certified Organic Farm. She cherished her family and their farm. She worked tirelessly and lived modestly, and her love and kindness touched many lives. She was a free spirit, an accomplished writer and poet, a dear friend. She was a loving mother, wife, daughter and sister. She was her family’s favorite cousin, auntie and niece. She was loved by everyone who knew her and will be greatly missed.
Survivors include her husband, Dean Gilkerson; their son Myel and their daughter Aliana, all of Kneeland, CA; stepdaughters Nani Gilkerson of Ann Arbor, MI, and Laurel Gilkerson of Eureka; mother Bonnie Stanfield of Eureka, father Jerry Gruen of Modesto; sisters Elizabeth DeGravio of Stockton and Sarah VanGrouw of Parma, ID, a large family of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, and a community of close-knit friends who mourn her loss.
Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, June 23 at the farm in Kneeland and Saturday, June 29 at 11447 Beth Ln, Lodi, at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Susan G Komen Foundation, PO Box 650309, Dallas, TX 75265; or American Cancer Society, PO Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123; or donate online.
The Escalon (Calif.) Times
June 12, 2013