God wrapped his loving arms around Gwendolyn Ann Chester Smith and called her home on October 19, 2019 after much suffering from advanced Alzeihmer’s. Born December 23, 1944 to Wilma and John Chester in Ardmore, OK. Graduated from Ardmore High School. Earned a BA in education from East Central University in OK where she met the love of her life and husband of 53 years, Francis Leon Smith.
After marrying, Gwen and Leon moved to Dallas, TX and then onto Houston to raise their two children. In Houston, Gwen volunteered in the children’s schools including serving as PTA president of Spring Shadows Elementary. She was a vocal and enthusiastic cheerer for countless little league baseball and softball games. She served in the nursery and on the Pre-school staff and was an active member at Tallowood Baptist Church. Gwen was a teacher at Hunters Creek Elementary where she loved her students and fellow teachers and later became a specialist in teaching children with dyslexia to read. The eye of Hurricane Alicia passed over her in 1983. She was a breast cancer survivor of 16 years.
Gwen and her husband moved to Rockport, TX to enjoy their retirement on beautiful Salt Lake where their neighbors soon became family. She was a member of First Baptist Church in Rockport and a volunteer at the Rockport Aquarium. She evacuated Rockport due to Hurricane Harvey in 2017 but returned in 2018.
Gwen was a night owl. She loved to smoke but quit. She loved Earl Campbell and the Houston Oilers but learned to love Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys. She adored her four grandchildren who called her Doodah. She loved Gospel music and Golden Oldies. She enjoyed boating. She loved her dogs: Happy, Muffin, Maggie, and Lucy. The love and devotion that was granted to her from her grandparents Vera Brooks Wham and Lyle “Pop” Wham was cherished throughout her life.
Gwen was preceded in death by her parents Wilma Oliver and John Chester and survived by her husband Leon, her children Crystal Comeaux and Brad Smith, son-in-law Clint Comeaux, siblings Melanie Susie Scott and John Brooks Chester, grandchildren Madeline and Reid Comeaux and Brock and Bridge Smith, as well as nieces and nephews. Gwen was blessed by much love and support by her many friends, family, and neighbors, and caregivers including Kara Springer, Christa Springer, Angie Boose, Sandy Turney, and Karen McGhee as well as the staff and nurses at Gulf Point Pointe Plaza as well as Harbor Hospice.
A Celebration of Life will be held on November 2 at 11:00 am at First Baptist church in Rockport, TX with further celebration at the Smith home to follow. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Alzheimer’s Association- Attention Research, PO Box 96011, Washington, DC, 20092 or First Baptist Church Rockport.