Gwen Gunnell
Gwen Gunnell

Obituary of Gwen Gunnell

Gwen Gunnell (Rowland) was welcomed into Heaven by Jesus on September 1, 2021. Born in Phoenix, Arizona on February 7, 1933, the family moved to Peoria in the early 1940's. Gwen and her sister, Carole, enjoyed life on the Rowland family farm along with years of fun and active service at the First Baptist Church of Glendale. The year after graduating from Peoria High School in 1951, Gwen married her sweetheart, Don Gunnell, who had graduated from the rival high school in Glendale. They worked together expanding their dairy farm as well as growing their family before moving to Camp Verde in 1964.  God opened many avenues of business for Gwen and Don rounding cattle on the ranch, flipping hamburgers at Don’s Verde Burger, and selling property in the Verde Valley through Gunnell Realty. Camping and fishing became part of the standard family get-away. Vacation Bible School, Little League, Sunday School classes and 4-H club projects kept Gwen busy with Don alongside as they chased after their kids and poured into the lives of other boys and girls.


Gwen is loved and survived by daughters, Bobbilyn Moore and Karen Blevins (John) and by sons, Stanley Gunnell and Doug Gunnell. Her life continues to be blessed by 12 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren. Gwen will be missed by her sister, Carole Van Meter (Charlie), sister-in-law, Marcia Gunnell, and brother-in-law Jack Gunnell (Mary). A bushel of nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends love and have been loved by “Gwennie.”  Preceded in death by her husband, Don, parents, Bob and Ruby Rowland, and son-in-law, Mike Moore, Gwen now experiences new adventures with loved ones in Heaven.


God blessed many lives through Gwen's walk with Jesus, her devotion to family and friends, and her generosity and service to community. Alongside the careers she and Don established in family businesses, Gwen also served as a board member on the Yavapai County Work Force Investment Board, on the Verde Valley Concert Association, as a chairperson of the Camp Verde Library Commission and served with the Arizona Library Friends. Gwen assisted in the establishment of the Camp Verde Adult Education and Enrichment Program and served as director of the Camp Verde Adult Reading Program for 20 years. She continued to treasure relationships with CVARP students, volunteers and her special ESL families through the years that followed her assistance there. Her most recent service was as chairperson of the board during the establishment of the Camp Verde Fire District. Gwen can boast, however, that the greatest accomplishments will one day be seen in the lives of her and Don's grandchildren and the many greats following them.


Gwen's family appreciates those who have reached out with condolences and memories. Grandkids have chuckled over favorite Granny moments and friends have shared special touches of Gwen.  Her family thanks all for understanding their need to honor Granny later this year with a simple celebration. They also encourage those who have a relationship with Jesus to remember His promise that one day we will celebrate life with Gwen in Heaven.