SAN ANGELO — Gwendolyn (Gwen) Cole was born to Jonah and Ella Bell on Jan. 29, 1917 in Brady. She was the youngest of five children.

Gwendolyn, the only given name Claude called her, was known to others as Gwen. She graduated from Rochelle High School as Valedictorian of her class. After graduation she married her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, Vinson Claude Cole who proceeded her in death in April 2005. They were married 68 years.

We said goodbye to our beloved mother, mother-in-law, grandmama, aunt and friend on Thursday, June 29 at 4:34 p.m. surrounded by her loving family at the age of 99.

Survivors include her son, Ronnie Cole and wife Beverly from San Angelo; a daughter, Sheila Dryden and husband Lane from Early; a childhood friend of Sheila’s; an adopted member of the family, Sherry Alford and husband Tom from Rising Star.

She was known as Grandmama to seven grandchildren, Cheryl Williams Godby, Mel Williams and wife Gloria, Taylor Cole and wife Donna, Denver Cole and wife Lori, Erin Dryden Green, Andrea Dryden Newsom and husband Michael and Joshua Dryden.

Gwen was also blessed with 11 great-grandchildren, Jessica Scott and husband Jeremy, Chandler Cole, Cache Cole, Cutter Cole, Brileigh Cole, Kamryn Cole, Brody Cole, Justin Croom, William Green, Davis Newsom and Katie Bell Newsom; and two great-great grandchildren, Cason and Caylee Scott. She is also survived by several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Others preceding Gwen in death were her oldest daughter, Glenda Williams and husband Donald Williams; her parents; two brothers, Thad and Delma Bell; and two sisters, Faye Parker and Grace Holt.

Gwen loved her Lord and was a faithful member of the Southgate Church of Christ. She and Claude worshipped at the 9th and Main Church of Christ for many years as they raised their children in a home environment of love and faithfulness to the Lord. Gwen had a sweet and loving nature that endeared her to everyone she met.

Gwen was a Bible class teacher for all grade levels as well as adult ladies class. Gwen and Claude were active in the church visitation program and all areas where help or leadership was needed until their health prevented it.

Our family is grateful for the loving care given to her by the administrators, the nurse, staff, chef, the kitchen staff and housekeepers at Chatfield Assisted Living Facility in Brownwood, her home for the past 6 ½ years. Being the first of three ladies who moved in on the first day of acceptance, she felt like she was the “pet” of the facility. The family came to believe it from the love and care shown to her from everyone there.

Gwen received special love, care and attention from DeeDee and Roy Villalpando.

Gwen’s hobbies included all things related to decorating her home and reading. She earned her certificate in interior design and used this talent in her own home as well as advice to friends and family. She had a special talent for flower arrangements and received numerous requests for many different occasions. Her favorite book was the Bible which she read every day. Her favorite author was Thomas Kinkade, she read every book of his and later donated them to the library in Chatfield. In her 60s, Gwen told Claude she wanted to learn to play the organ. He surprised her with a beautiful organ. She took lessons from Mary Carter for many years. She entertained her family many times with spiritual, western and Christmas music. She will be dearly missed by all who ever knew her. Pallbearers will be Harroll Clemmer, Steve Sherrod, Charles Becker, Kenneth Gartman, Don McKee, Grady O’Neil and Jeff Chunn.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at Southgate Church of Christ with Paul Shero officiating. Interment to follow at Lawnhaven.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to San Angelo Christian Academy in San Angelo, Aldersgate Enrichment Center in Brownwood, Cherokee Children’s Home in Cherokee, or a charity of your choice.

Family and friends are invited to sign the online register book at www.harper-funeralhome.com.