Gwendolyn June Spicer was born on June 10, 1939 in Chicago Illinois, the third of five children to Rev. Ira and Berthenia Battle. The family moved to Waterloo, Iowa in 1944 when Reverend Battle was named minister of the Gospel Temple COGIC in Waterloo Iowa, the family moved back to Chicago in 1954.
Gwendolyn attended graduated from Du Sable High School in June 1958. She remained close to Patricia and Beatrice Haywood her Du Sable High School classmates.
After high school she attended Cortez Peters Business College of Chicago. She then worked at the Social Security Administration. During that time, she met her future husband Benjamin Spicer Sr. Through marriage Gwendolyn became a mother figure and friend to Diane Claytor, Benjamin Sr’s daughter.
In July of 1964, Gwendolyn married Benjamin Spicer Sr. The two were married for 23 years when Benjamin Sr preceded her in death in 1987.
On April 19, 1966 her son Benjamin was born at St. Bernards Hospital and on June 13, 1969 her son Brian was born at Billings Hospital in Chicago.
In 1971 Gwendolyn began working at the University of Illinois Psychiatry department where she met her dear friend Bernice Donegan.
Gwen began working at the Jewish Community Centers of Chicago in 1974. In her role as the Business Manager of the Hyde Park location Gwen successfully demonstrated her wide array of talents. She cultivated relationships that crossed and brought down cultural, racial and religious barriers. While at the “J”, she had a passion for mentorship, especially with young women. She was highly respected and adored by the entire staff for her kindness, patience, and wisdom. She provided a soft touch and a safe place to land for many people who saw her as a trusted friend and advisor. Her legacy was created and followed Gwen long after her retirement in 1998.
Gwendolyn’s passions included her never wavering love of family, a love for art, and a tremendous sense of humor, and a thirst for knowledge that continued throughout her life.
Gwendolyn made her peaceful transition on September 11, 2020.
Gwendolyn was preceded in death by her mother Berthenia Battle of Chicago Illinois. Her father Ira Battle of St. Paul Minnesota. Her Great Grandmother Ethel Henderson of Chicago Illinois. Her brother Nathaniel Battle of Chicago Illinois and her sister Patricia Crump of Phoenix, Arizona.
Preceded also by Brother and Sisters by marriage Joseph and Ruth Spicer, of Detroit Michigan Harden and Eleanor Spicer, of Kings Mountain NC. Pauline Fondren of Inkster Michigan. Clyde Spicer of Baltimore Maryland. Floyd Spicer of Atlanta Georgia. Gerald Brown of Chicago Illinois. Bishop Walker of Princeton West Virginia. Gene Vaughn of Charlotte North Carolina.
Gwendolyn is survived by her daughter Diane Claytor of Sacramento California and sons Benjamin Spicer of Chicago Illinois and daughter by marriage Stacie Spicer. Brian Spicer of Las Vegas Nevada. Her Granddaughter Casmir Spicer of Apple Valley California and Grandson Devin Michael Hudson of Ecorse Michigan and Great Grandson Jalen Spicer of Apple Valley California. Her sisters Barbara Brown of Chicago Illinois and Rochelle Knight of Atlanta Georgia. Special cousin Beverly Bohannon of Chicago Illinois.
Sisters by marriage Margaret Walker of Charlotte NC, Betty Creasey of Atlanta Georgia, Lille Rivers of Detroit Michigan, Beatrice Spicer of Princeton West Virginia and Ida Vaughn of Charlotte North Carolina. These women who never left her side after Benjamin Sr. made his transition in 1987.
Gwen was beloved by her many nieces and nephews who often reached out to her for counsel and guidance. Hundreds of cherished cousins are also celebrating her life. Gwen treated her close friends like family, this is the reason why Gwendolyn has fostered so many long-lasting relationships. Her life, the ups and downs, the joys and pains and how she responded to adversity and crisis, were an inspiration to us all.
The family of Gwendolyn Spicer at this time would like to extend our most sincere thanks for all of the prayers, warm thoughts and generosity shown to the family.
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