Gwendolyn Gibson Field, 99, passed from this life to her new address in heaven, on Easter afternoon, April 12, 2020 in Holyoke.
Gwen (a.k.a. Sparkie, Granny Goose, Gwenie, Mama and Mahso) was born to Harry Bryant Gibson and Maude West (Perkins) Gibson on August 23, 1920 in Manasota, Florida. The youngest of three children, her father was a surgeon who died when Gwen was only 18 months old. The Gibson family was fortunate to have relatives throughout southern Florida where they could receive help during tough economic times. Gwen lived with two aunts at the Gibson Hotel (currently on the National Registry and still in operation) in Apalachicola, Florida from ages 9-16. These were difficult years, being separated from her mother, but she also felt cherished by her aunts.
In 1936, Gwen was re-united with her brother, sister, and mother in Jacksonville, Florida where she graduated from high school and enrolled in Business College. Upon completion, she was employed as a secretary for the Vice President of the Telephone Company in Jacksonville.
As a popular beauty, she enjoyed dancing to the Big Band sounds around town. One day on the beach, she met her “fly boy” love, “Rich.” Her mother sometimes teased her when Rich would buzz their apartment, getting rather close to the roofline in his “trainer” plane. She would say, “…. well, Gwen, that’s either Rich Field, or the enemy!”
Richard Andrew Field and Gwen were married in Apalachicola, Florida on July 27, 1943 after a brief courtship because, as a pilot with the Army Air Corps, he was needed to fly reconnaissance near Trinidad Tobago, looking for German submarines off the coast. Later, Rich flew B-29 heavy bombers from Saipan to Japan in the Pacific war effort. Gwen stayed with her Mother in Jacksonville as a young bride, eager to receive mail from her war “hero.”
After the war, Gwen and Rich settled in Independence, Missouri where Richard Jr. (Dick) was born in 1946. In 1949, the couple moved to Denver where Rich worked as an air traffic controller. In 1950, Alice was born, and the couple settled in the Park Hill area of Denver.
Gwen was a stay-at-home Mother, encouraging her husband and loving her children. Her creativity and zest for life was never lacking and both children fondly remember laughing their way through life, due to her wit and sincerity. With only one car, Gwen never chose to master driving skills—dependent on her husband and neighbors for rides for groceries or events. Most of her adult social contact was leaning over the chain link fence to visit with neighbors or talking on the party line phone.
She was active in PTA at the area schools and led 14 giggling Girl Scouts for 5 years for Alice. She tried to encourage son, Dick’s judo skills by cooking a breakfast steak for him on days of judo competition matches, but so regretted not being able to attend the matches without use of a car.
When her children were in college, her frequent written notes were invaluable! The grandchildren also treasure these notes of encouragement, always signed with “oodles of love” and a happy smiley face. The great grandkids have memories of orange juice lids made into Olympic awards when they were younger. Even with limited funds, she found ways to sincerely express her adoration for each of children, grandchildren, and great grand kids. A few of them remember her long spooky stories at bedtime about “Crazy Ned” who roamed the mountains.
Gwenie also dearly loved her Lord. It wasn’t until she was 28 as a young mother in Kansas City that she heard an evangelical message about the gospel of Christ being available to everyone but requiring a personal decision to accept it.
She recounted this at a woman’s Bible study in Holyoke 15 years ago. She told them she was listening to a broadcast on the radio about Jesus’s death on the cross completely taking away all the sins we have committed. Gwen knelt beside her kitchen sink, hands still within the soapy water, and asked Jesus to do just that—take away her sins and come into her life and be her eternal savior. She described to those women that she knew immediately that God had taken every wrong she had ever committed and—through the death and resurrection of Christ—she had been saved.
“How did you know you had been saved?” one lady asked that evening.
“I just knew from the overwhelming peace I had-- and from what I had been reading in the Bible.” Then, she added, “And I immediately stopped wearing short-shorts! I never felt guilty before, when I was gardening, but one day the mailman whistled at me. I was grieved over that whistle. After that night at the kitchen sink, repenting of my sins and accepting Christ as my savior—reading the Bible came alive to me. I wanted to please my Lord, in all my actions and thoughts. I wanted to tell others of His love.”
Those Bible study ladies were warmed at her intimate, yet sincere little story of her changed life. Her life verse would be: John 11:25. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies. And whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Mrs. Field is survived by her son, Dick Field, Jr. and wife Sheila of Elizabeth, CO; daughter Alice Skold and husband Wayne of Haxtun, CO; four grandchildren, Rich Field and wife Susan of Colorado Springs, CO, their sons, Nicholas and Jack; Yana LaFore and husband Dave of Littleton, CO, their children, Jake, Charlie, and Bella; Marlena Field and husband Ben Johnson of Aurora, CO, and their daughter Eleanor; and Heather Skold of Colorado Springs, CO.
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