“I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing”
II Timothy 4:7-8
Ms. Gwendolyn Denise McKenzie, daughter of Mrs. Sallie Mae McKenzie and the late Mr. Leroy McKenzie was born December 3, 1966 in Scotland County, North Carolina.
Gwendolyn graduated in June 1986 from Hoke County High School in Raeford, North Carolina. At an early age, she was baptized and became a member of Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church, where she was a faithful member. She served on the Trustee board, Education committee, worked as a Youth Sunday School teacher, VBS and Youth Choir Director and sung on the Youth, Junior as well as Gospel choir.
Gwendolyn better known to all as Gwen was employed at Salisbury Rowan Community Action Agency and TJ Maxx department store. Gwen loved working with children and buying her pocket books.
Momma was a fighter and she never complained or allowed her illness to dictate her life. “I’m going to work” is what momma would always say regardless of how her illness progressed. She was a loving mother to all her children: Barion, Katisa and Denisha. Momma also known as Gammy to her two grandkids (Carter Evans, Ava Smith) believed her little ones were a gift from God. She also had a very special love for Deshaun Fox, her other child as she would say.
Gwendolyn was preceded in death by her father, Leroy McKenzie and two brothers, Wardele McKenzie and Thomas (Tommie) A. Purcell.
She leaves to cherish her fond memories: one son, Barion McMillian of Raeford, NC; two daughters, Denisha Branch of Charlotte, NC and Katisa McMillian of Raeford, NC; her mother, Sallie M. McKenzie of Raeford, NC; two brothers, Elvis S. (Catherine) Purcell of Raeford, NC and Leroy Jr. Graham of Parkton, NC; four sisters, Earlie M. McNair of Raeford, NC, Tamitha (Stephanie) K. McKenzie of Carthage, NC, Marsiell B. McKenzie of Raeford, NC and Charlene F. (Redrick) Graham of Raleigh, NC; three aunts, Mrs. Gladys M. Graham and Mrs. Helen McNeill both of Raeford, NC, and Mrs. Julie M. (Talf) Farmer of Wagram, NC; three uncles, Mr. Colon (Beulah) Purcell of Raeford, NC, Roosevelt McKenzie of Red Springs, NC and Leon (Anez) Stephens of Raeford, NC; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.