Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
Rachel Buben Memorial
Rachel Buben Memorial

Rachel Buben

Rachel Buben

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

Rachel Lee Buben passed surrounded by loved ones in her home on May 13, 2020, at age 51, after a courageous battle against cancer. She was a beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher in her community.

Rachel was born on January 12, 1969 in Bellingham, Washington to parents, Robert and Sandy Knudsen. She grew up in Acme, Washington, where she cultivated independence, a love for the outdoors, and a lifelong adventurous spirit. Rachel prided herself on academics. She graduated from Mount Baker High School with the class of 1987, and then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a K-8 Teaching Certificate from Western Washington University. Her passion for education and learning led her to earn a Master’s in Education in Literacy from Lesley University. Rachel thrived as a grade school teacher at Bay View Elementary from 1999 until her diagnosis in 2017. Her students and colleagues remember her compassion, warmth, and ability to nurture.

As an adult, Rachel enjoyed camping with her family, sunny days at the lake, and weekend adventures with her soulmate, Dave. In addition, each year she looked forward to the holiday season and creating precious memories with her family.

She was a woman who took every opportunity to support her girls and care for her family. Her most cherished moments were with her daughters and those most dear to her. In her children, she instilled integrity, a love for nature, and an appreciation for the little things in life. Rachel truly loved unconditionally and embodied unwavering support. Anyone who met Rachel, fondly remembers her beautiful smile and genuine soul. To those closest to her, she was the most adored mother, wife, and friend.

Her surviving family: husband, Dave; daughters, Cambie and Nikki Edwards; sister, Paula Miller; brother, Bryan Knudsen; parents, Robert and Sandy Knudsen; nieces and nephews; best friend, Patricia Shanander; and beloved pets are comforted knowing she felt the love and adoration of her family in her final moments. She will always be remembered as a warrior who never lost hope.

Rachel  will be laid to rest at the Saxon Cemetery near Acme on Saturday, May 23, 2020.

Our family, in lieu of flowers, are accepting donations to help with medical expenses that remain from Rachel’s courageous fight.




  • Linda Christenson

    I will remember Rachel for her dear friendship and inspiration. We parented our kids together, shared recipes and book recommendations, and it was in her 4th grade classroom that I became a “math person.” I have many memories of her as my kids’ teacher, as a gifted teacher who understood children and their learning styles, and as an involved, loving mom devoted to her daughters. I worked in her classroom daily for many years and the experiences we shared together, both in teaching and parenting, are unforgettable. Cambie, Nikki and Dave, carry on her traditions and may those memories be a comfort to you.

  • Stephanie C Schwenk

    Rachel was a teacher friend and colleague at Bay View Elementary. I always remember how much she talked about her girls, and how she could roll through life and school challenges and share them cheerfully at the lunch table. Rachel was great with the most challenging students and always expected the best for them and from them. I can’t watch the movie Elf without thinking of her. Miss and love you!

  • Jackie Ford

    Rachel welcomed me to Bay View as a new teacher. Rachel and I were 4th grade teaching partners for seven years. She was a mentor to me and an inspiration to grow and learn to be a better teacher. I had the privilege of having her daughter Nikki in my class. Her girls were always there at the before the school year started helping set up her classroom. She was a wonderful mother and teacher. We had a lot of inside jokes during monthly staff meetings. Rachel had a great sense of humor and strength of character. We miss her at Bay View.

  • Amy Reisner

    Rachel was an amazing teacher. I was fortunate enough to watch her work magic with students who needed her help the most. Always calm and consistent, students knew how much she cared and how high her expectations were for them. It was the best combination. Cambie and Nikki, it was an honor to watch you grow up and know how proud your mom was of you. At Bay View, we were incredibly lucky to know Rachel, draw from her strength, and be inspired by her fight. She will be deeply missed.

  • Wendi Wall

    I miss you dearly my friend! I will cherish our memories of teaching, hiking, and enjoying a good meal out. I’m very thankful for the many quiet moments and deep conversations we had over the past 3 years. Rachel taught me so much about raising strong confident girls … with an open heart, lots of encouragement, and a little sass! I admire your strength, courage, and hope. You will never be forgotten. “… to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8
    Love you my friend. Until we meet again!

  • Jeannie Dodd

    Rachel was one of the first teachers to invite me into her class when I came to Bay View Elementary in 2016. She was eager to help some student with emotional challenges and was eager to have a partner in the endeavor. In spite of the challenges, she always talked positively about the students we worked with. She had a way of having students believe they could do difficult things.
    Rachel always was one sentence away from talking about “her girls“ and was most alive and bright in talking about her family. This past week I had several kids who are now in high school email me to talk when they heard the news. Rachel left an indelible mark on the kids and staff at BayView.

  • Rosa Matson

    I knew Rachel for a few years at Bay View. In those few years Rachel went out of her way to help me feel welcome as a new teacher at Bay View. Rachel was always ready to help and come say hello to me. I will always remember her contagious smile, warmth, and dedication to teaching. Blessings to all of you and sending love as you grieve and rejoice her wonderful life and spirit.

  • Kathryn Miller

    we are all here because we all lost a bestfriend, a mother, a wife a daughter and an aunt.

    To my aunt and bestfriend

    When we got adopted you had accepted us into your lives instantly. My memories everytime I look at pictures of me as a little girl with you are always us laughing and playing. The tight hugs I was given I felt security, you were my solid rock you listened to me and always gave me great advice and treated me like I was an adult and not just some immature teenager or child. I looked up to you in so many ways, you’re so strong one of the bravest woman I know you never let anything get you down. You knew what you wanted and went for it with no hesitation. You brought two gorgeous girls into this world that made the family even more complete. I hope to get closer to them so that they know that I love them and that when they need someone I am there.

    I never thought the last time I hugged you would really be the last time, I would have hugged you tighter.

    I was going to say goodbye but then thought to myself why is it a goodbye? Instead I want to say that I will see you again and I will never say goodbye.

  • Paula L Miller

    My beautiful sister will be in my heart forever. Our lives together were some of my most precious memories. I will always miss her laugh and advice. Here’s to you Rach, fly free now..I love you.

  • Erica Tolf

    Bay View was so lucky to have you, Rachel, as a teacher. My son, Kyle, was also blessed to have had you as his teacher. You were always so patient with kids and always found the good in every single student. I remember the huge planetarium you made for your kids in the cafe. You were always able to get parents to help you with those extra fun activities. Your smile, it will be missed, but we will always remember it. Your family, including your wonderful girls, are in my thoughts and prayers daily.

  • Ryan Barci

    Rachel will be missed by so many. I have fond memories of working with Rachel at Bay View and carpooling to numerous math trainings over the years with her. She was so incredibly passionate about her students, her colleagues, and her family. Over the years, she was my go-to math colleague. Rachel inspired me to be a better teacher and to continue finding creative ways to make math relevant to kids.

    Nikki and Cambie, I will be thinking of you both during this difficult time. Your mom will be greatly missed. My heart goes out to you.