Lifelong teacher Ki Ki Gore dies at 85

Ki Ki Gore, 85, longtime St. Anthony Park resident, died on June 25.

A friend to all she met, Ki Ki was born to Greek immigrants who landed at Ellis Island and settled in Evanston, Ill. She gradu­ated from Evanston Township High School in 1951, then received her B.A. from Northwestern University in 1954 and two master’s degrees, in education and guidance and counseling, from Northwestern in 1956.

A lifelong student and teacher, Ki Ki also studied at the University of Mexico, Mexico City; the University of Colorado, Boulder; and Carleton College during school vacations to extend her own education.

Ki Ki began her teaching in 1954 at Evanston Township High School, Evanston, Ill., and went on to teach at Arlington High School and Prospect High School in Illinois; Westside High School, Omaha, Neb.; the YMCA of St. Paul; Como Park, Harding, and Central high schools in St. Paul, before ending her formal teaching career at St. Paul Academy from 1985 to 1996.

Ki Ki was a multi-year nomi­nee for Minnesota Teacher of the Year. She continued working at the University of Minnesota Boynton Health Service until 2016. Ki Ki taught adult Spanish classes from 1970 until shortly before she died.

Her involvement in and love for her beloved St. Anthony Park neighborhood was unparalleled. She sold baklava at the St. Anthony Park Arts Festival in the 1970s and cooked dinners for the St. Anthony Park Association in the early 1980s.

In 2013, Mayor Chris Coleman declared July 4th Warren and Ki Ki Gore Day in the city of St. Paul. On the same day, Warren and Ki Ki received the Spirit of the Park Award.

Ki Ki was preceded in death by her parents and sister, and her loving husband of 58 years, Warren Y. Gore. She is survived by daughter Lia (Frank Haluska), son Paul (Tracy Fischman), grandchildren Alex, Talia and Jacob; four nieces; brother-in-law Jim; sister-in-law Xenia; and countless friends, cousins, extended family, students, and colleagues on at least five continents.

A memorial service will be held at St. Anthony Park United Church of Christ at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30.

Memorials, if desired, are suggested to the University of Minnesota Cancer Center, Habitat for Humanity or the St. Anthony Park Home.

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