Meet Your Neighbor: Gwendolyn Frances Wilson-Brooks
Gwen was born, married and widowed all on June 9. She was born on June 9, 1925, married on her 21st birthday in 1946, and widowed on their 45th anniversary, June 9, 1991.
She was born in Missouri, the daughter of Louis Bishop and Edna Lee (Cowan) Heimer. They traveled to Kansas by train and settled in Hanston. She had one brother, James. She attended Southwestern College in Winfield, graduated from Sterling College and did graduate work at Fort Hays College.
She was married to Glen Eugene Wilson, June 9, 1946, in Hanston and they had four children: Jim (Shirley) Wilson, Ulysses, Kan.; Jean (Dean) Lyman, Sharon; Jared (Veronica) Wilson, Little River, Kan. and Jolana (Roger) Perkins, Miltonvale, Kan.
Gwen began teaching in 1946, beginning in a one-room country school—Beeler, Jetmore and Hanston. After retirement, she substituted in Dodge City, Kan. and was also a librarian at St. Mary’s of the Plains.
Glen and Gwen lived on the Heimer Homestead in Hanston, farming, ranching and teaching until moving to Dodge City in 1984. They traveled to Hawaii, Alaska and Canada. After 45 years together, Glen passed away on June 9, 1991.
Gwen married Frederic Thompson Brooks on February 4, 1995, in Dodge City. They enjoyed traveling together to the Panama Canal, Australia, the Holy Land, Egypt, Africa, British Isles, Greece, Turkey, Scandinavia, Russia, Europe and the Caribbean Islands. Fred passed away November 9, 2010.
Gwen is a member of the First United Methodist Church in Dodge City where she is a member of the Builders Sunday School Class, Brown Bag, UMW Circle 2, FISH, Christian Women’s Club, Stonecroft Bible Study and has sung in the choir and played the piano for Sunday school.
She was also active in the community through ESA Sorority, FCE Extension Unit, PEO, Hospital Auxiliary, Chamber of Commerce, Depot Theater, Community Concerts, Retired Teachers, volunteered at the hospital and the Manor of the Plains she has also been a piano accompanist for church and care home church services and birthday celebrations.
Gwen was named the Dodge City Area Women’s Chamber “Woman of the Year” in 2015.
She was also recognized as a Dodge City Family YMCA Member Champion in 2020 where she enjoys going to exercise class every morning.
Her goal in life was to reach the age of 93 (her mother and grandmother both lived to 93). Gwen has exceeded that goal and is still enjoying life at 96.5 years young.