Former President Nixon’s sister-in-law, Edmonds School District teacher Gay Lynne Nixon passes away


Ed Nixon with his late wife Gay Lynn, former President Richard Nixon and his wife Pat. (Photo from Richard Nixon Foundation)

Gay Lynne Nixon, wife of former President Richard Nixon’s brother, Ed Nixon, passed away Jan. 20 at her home in Lynnwood.

Nixon, 76, died of Alzheimer’s, a disease she had suffered from for the past several years. Her husband, Edward C. Nixon, the younger brother of former President Richard Nixon, was at her side, according to a news release from the Richard Nixon Foundation.

Gay Lynne Nixon was a high school math teacher in the Edmonds School District from 1967 to 1995, and then began private tutoring.

“Gay Lynne was my lovely, attentive and giving partner for 57 years. I miss her dearly,” Ed Nixon said. “It is a difficult decline when one suffers from Alzheimer’s. I know it was extraordinarily hard on her as she realized its consequences. We had wonderful years together, many on the campaign trail with my brother. She enjoyed that role and was enormously helpful in so many ways.”

The two married June 1, 1957 and had two children, Amelie “Amy” Peiffer of Kent and Elizabeth “Beth” Matheny of Everett.

In his book, The Nixons: A Family Portrait, published in 2009, Ed recalled the time they first met. “Sitting across from her, I could see she was full of spirit. I had my sights set on that young lady,” Nixon wrote.

Gayle Lynne Nixon was an accomplished musician and excelled at the piano, classical guitar and accordion. She had a broad interest in learning, traveled all over the world and learned to speak Finnish, Spanish, German and Italian well enough to lead groups of students on summer tours for People-to-People.

She graduated from Tulane University with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and earned her teaching certificate from the University of Washington.

No immediate services are planned. Messages can be sent to Ed Nixon at

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  1. One of my favorite teachers back in the day at Meadowdale Junior High, early 80’s. She had a great way with students but didnt take any BS either. RIP Mrs. Nixon

  2. Wow I was just talking about her to a friend just awhile ago. I agree a great teachers at Meadowdale in the 70’s as well. I remember talking to her at graduation in 73. Mrs. Nixon you did leave a mark, my sympathy to her family…RIP

  3. It was a privilidge knowing her and being her friend ! she will be missed by all the Music and Folk Dance Community here in Seattle

  4. I loved you and your husband very much. Thank you for all that you gave me and all the time you spent with me every Monday, Wednesday and Friday:) Thank you to your husband for helping me with chemistry and being the best visual aid on a US history project I EVER had!! Got an A for that one. I send you the best and often think about you guys. Sending my love to your family.

  5. She was a great person and musician.

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