Gwendolyn M. Moore transitioned to her eternal home Thursday, November 17, 2016 at the John Knox Rehabilitation Center, in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Gwendolyn was born on September 28, 1931, to Alfred and Stella Briscoe Moore, in Manly, Iowa. Both parents and sister, Denise Lebeck preceded her in death.
She attended and graduated from Manly High School as the first person of color as Class President and Valedictorian in 1949. Recently attending her 67th class reunion, Gwendolyn was greeted by a host of people who recalled her and the family’s involvement in the community. She received first prize awards for her bassoon playing. She was the church pianist for the New Bethel Baptist church, in Iowa. She continued her education and graduated earning a Bachelor of Science in Commerce, from the University of Iowa, in 1953. During her time at University of Iowa, she joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and was inducted as an honorary member of Pi Omega Pi. She also received a diploma as an Executive Secretary from the Hamilton School of Commerce. Gwendolyn attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. in Maryland, and Towson State University in Towson, Maryland. She remained an active member of the Alumni of University of Iowa.
Gwendolyn worked as an educator and served as a member of the Kansas City Board of Education. Her ultimate career was with the Social Security Administration, first in Mason City, Iowa, and for over 27 years in Baltimore, Maryland. She worked as a writer-educator of Social Security rulings, as an administrative disability specialist, supervising fiscal over site of 54 state agencies. Her position allowed traveling throughout the United States and abroad, working and learning from other countries, which she continued traveling even after retirement throughout the world.
Gwendolyn was an avid collector of rare and interesting rocks, gems, and she designed jewelry and pieces. She would travel to various locations of the country to area shows, go on digging expeditions, and bring back several collected pieces. Other hobbies she enjoyed included working with stain glass, making and creating designs. She developed many pieces displayed, throughout her home and gifts to family and friends. She will be remembered for her love of square dancing and sewing. Making and designing most of her clothing was tailored made, by herself. She was a serious seamstress and tailor. She loved the fashions and was known and shown throughout family and friends.
Gwendolyn returned to the greater Kansas City area, and became a resident to the John Knox Village community in 1989. Here she served 6 years distinctively as a member of the Board of Directors of John Knox Village. During this time she actively served as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Nominating Committee. She has served on several Boards and Committees, throughout area businesses, organizations and companies.
Gwendolyn was well known for her generosity to her family and friends. She was known for her many donations to charities and organizations, throughout the world (i.e. animal organization advocate, and the armed forces).
Gwendolyn had several pets that she referred to as her children. Her favorite was an African Basenji named Ju-Ju that was portrayed in a color portrait that rested in the dining room, which she regarded as her one and only. Her last Basenji was named Sizzle. She was a true animal lover and would carry doggie snacks in her car to give to the neighborhood pets.
Gwendolyn leaves several loved ones to cherish her memory: June Patterson, sister; four nephews, one niece, several cousins, and many friends.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 26th at 1:00 pm at John Knox Village Chapel, 400 NW Murray Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081. Services entrusted to Longview Funeral Home & Cemetery, Kansas City, MO.