Gwendolyn Beard entered her earthly life on March 13, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois. She was the z" of 3 children born to the union of Charles and Annamae Beard, Sr. Her parents and siblings Barbara Williams and Charles Beard, Jr. preceded her in death. She graduated from Hayes Elementary School and Lucy Flowers High School on the west side of Chicago. Gwen attended Roosevelt University for a semester and later transferred to DePaul University, where she graduated with honors, receiving her Bachelor's in Music Education. Gwen received her Master's of Biblical & Theological Studies from Moody Bible Institute where she was later employed for 30 years in various administrative roles. She also worked for decades at the family business Couch Funeral Home on the west side of Chicago, as well as at Haliburton and House of Thompson funeral homes in Evanston Eventually, music ministry became her fulltime passion and joy as she worked at
and/or played for various churches in Evanston including First Church of God Christian Life Center and Sherman United Methodist Church.
Gwen met Walter Lee Edmonds while they were both students at Moody Bible Institute. They united in marriage on September 5, 1964. To this union 2 daughters, Deborah and Denise, were born. The Lord called him home the day after his birthday in 1968. Accepting Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at an early age, Gwen grew in grace and knowledge as she faithfully served the Lord. In August 1985, she became a member of the First Church of God in Evanston, Illinois (now: First Church of God Christian Life Center). At "First Church", Gwen was licensed in ministry in October 1985, ordained in April 2001, and commissioned in April 2017.
Gwen was gifted in the musical arts as a vocalist, musician and teacher. She loved all kinds of music, played the piano by ear, and taught and coached many people how to play the piano and sing. She shared her gifts throughout the Evanston and North Shore community and beyond at houses of worship and more. Everybody knew Gwen. To know her was to love her. With her effervescent personality, she was a bright light and encourager who brought joy to others through her love for God and people. The light of Christ shone brightly through her. Whether she was exercising her spiritual gifts or on one of her long walks, she had a smile on her face, love in her heart and kind words of encouragement. The joy of the Lord was her strength.
There was nobody like her Gwen entered into eternal life October 25, 2021, leaving to mourn her passing and praise God for her life: 2 daughters - Denise (Jerome Sr.) Smith and Deborah "Debbie" (Cameron) Dunn; 10 grandchildren - Briana Smith, Ashley Smith, Jasmin Smith, Jerome "Jigga., Smith Jr. , Kea Ransom, Valerie Ransom, Cameron Dunn Jr., Caliesa Dunn, Paige Dunn and Korene Dunn; 1 great granddaughter - Maleah Adrien; Lillian "Glam., Smith who was like a sister to her; some very special friends too numerous to name and a host of other loving family and friends. Please keep the family in your prayers.
Arrangements entrusted to Thompson Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc. Mr. Philip L. Gillette ~ Funeral Director
(Please note: In compliance with the CDC, State, and local COVID guidelines, face masks are mandatory indoors regardless of vaccination status.)