Graveside services for Gwendola Faye (Scales) Taylor, 84-year-old Georgetown, Texas, resident, will be 10 a.m. Friday, May 22, 2020, at Bethany Cemetery, south of Weatherford, with Bruce Mayfield officiating. Services are under the direction of Lockstone Funeral Home
Gwen passed away peacefully May 15, 2020, due to complications of a hemorrhagic stroke. She was born June 28, 1935, near Colony, to Mary Edith and Charlie Otis Scales. She was as cute as a bug and referred to as “doodlebug” for almost 6 months, before given the name Gwen, named after one of her mother’s close friends.
She was raised on the family farm, north of Colony in a three-bedroom Indian rock home. She was one of 11 brothers and sisters. Despite the lack of electricity and indoor plumbing, their home was full of laughter and love.
It was post-depression and dust bowl days and you did what you could to survive. Gwen and her family chopped peanuts, picked cotton, herded turkeys, milked cows — you name it, they did it. They were a proud, honest and hard-working family.
Gwen started in Colony Public schools in 1941, where she would let her brother Darwin complete most of her hard coursework but excelled on the basketball court. She was strong and athletic, and eventually named as an All-American high school player.
Her dad was strict and didn’t allow his girls to wear shorts, much less play basketball. This required her to enlist the help of her mom to distract her dad, while she ran the half mile to the section line to catch a ride to and from her basketball games.
She was willful and determined to do what she believed and live the life that she wanted. While in 5th grade at Colony school, she met her future husband, “Freddie,” who she would later date in high school.
After graduating from Colony High school in 1953, Gwen moved to Weatherford to attend Southwestern State College, working on her bachelor’s degree and waitressing full time at the H&M diner.
Freddie had graduated a year earlier and was in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Bliss, in El Paso, Texas. With only 2 years of college and not yet a teaching certificate, she accepted a teaching position in Fowler, Colorado.
Freddie seized the opportunity to snatch this browneyed beauty and August 6, 1955, they were married at the courthouse in Sayre. Gwen spent the next 2 years in Colorado while Freddie completed his military obligation in Texas and Germany.
In 1957, they reunited in Colorado until they moved to California. In 1958, Freddie had an opportunity to train as an aircraft mechanic at Northrup Institute, so the two left Colorado with a 4-foot X 4-foot trailer filled with all their possessions, and arrived in Englewood, California, with 23 cents, a room rented for 2 months and a full refrigerator.
Gwen found a teaching position at an all-black Compton Elementary in pre-integration Los Angeles. She loved kids no matter their background, race or capabilities. Gwen would later name two of their children after Compton students, one an amazing double-dutch jump-roper and one, who had a heart of gold.
You can probably guess who was named after whom. Her youngest also was named after a cherished student, probably one who was quite stubborn. Gwen was the original “straight out of Compton” supporter.
After a year in Southern California, the couple took advantage of the GI bill, and headed to San Jose California, so Freddie could attend San Jose State University. It was in San Jose, they bought their first home and started their own family of three daughters.
Gwen was a working mother, raising her own kids as well as the students in her classroom. In 1970, Gwen and Freddie purchased 6.5 acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The property was a chalk rock hill, bordered on two sides by creeks and lined with redwood trees.
This hillside would eventually become “Camp Cruz” to many and the place Gwen called home. Gwen and Freddie built a home surrounded by beautiful fruit trees and rose gardens. Gwen loved her flowers and that love was evident throughout the landscape.
Their home for 46 years was 300 Granite Creek Road, where they raised their girls and created memories for their grandkids and many friends and family who often visited. In 2018, Gwen and Freddie moved to Georgetown.
Although, she loved being near family, Santa Cruz was still her forever home. Gwen spent her life doing what she loved. She taught for 55 years with kind eyes and a kind voice. She always found a way to help each student reach their full potential.
She believed fresh air, sunshine and a shot of grape juice was the cure-all. Gwen was the matriarch of her family. Seeming to always operate in the background holding a hot cup of black coffee, Gwen was selflessly devoted to ensuring that everyone was clean, fed, happy and most of all, loved.
Survivors include: her husband of almost 65 years, Freddie Taylor; three daughters, Pamela Hamons, Vicki Richmond and Lisa Burgess and their spouses; and a brother, Don Scales.
She left a legacy of children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends, who will be forever cherished.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the educational institute of your choice.