EUPORA — Gwendolyn Childs Booth Wilson passed away at age 52 at the University of Mississippi Medical Center on October 8, 2011. She was pre-deceased by her father, Dr. James Edward Booth, who died at the same hospital on June 17, 2011.
Survivors include her husband, Randy Joe Wilson, her daughter, Arey Caroline Childs Wilson of Bellefontaine; her mother, Mattelyn Reed Booth; sisters Anne Reed Booth Ross (Henry), Caroline Booth Browder (Thomas) of Eupora; Judith Lee Booth Buys (Mark) of Vicksburg; one brother, James Edward Booth, Jr. (Rachel) of Oxford.
Gwen was born on August 18, 1959 in Eupora, at a clinic and hospital owned by her father. At her birth was her great-grandmother, Mattie Ingram Childs, who “gave Gwen her first bath.”
Gwen graduated third in her class from Eupora High School in 1977 and was president of the senior class. She was a member of the annual staff, president and accompanist for the chorus, and a member of the sextet. She received the Jaycee Award, Rotary Award, Merit Award, Beta Social Studies Award, and Most Outstanding Musician Award.
She was a 12-year piano student of Margaret Lacey. She received the Paderewski Medal and gave a graduate piano recital. She also received the National Guild of Piano Teachers High School Dipolma.
She was a member of the Eupora High School Band, Woodwind Choir, Flag Corp and played first chair clarinet.
She was Eupora’s Centenial Queen in 1974 and Eupora’s Miss Hospitality in 1978.
Gwen received a bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry from Mississippi State University in 1981. She also received a bachelor and a master‘s degree in Music Education in 1983 and 1985 from Mississippi State University where she taught and held a graduate assistantship with Dr. Jerry Williams.
She was a member of Phi Eta Sigma, Freshman Scholastic Honorary Fraternity; Lambda Sigma, Scholastic Honorary; Alfa Epsilon Delta, Pre-Medical Honor Society; Angel Flight, and Cardinal Key, National Honor Society. She was accompanist for the University Choir and a member of the Madrigal Singers. Gwen was also a member and president of Phi Mu Social Sorority where she was selected national Phi Mu Queen in Indianapolis, Ind.
Gwen was a vocal and piano instructor at Madison Ridgeland Elementary School and Eupora High School. She also taught private piano and voice students. She played organ and piano at numerous weddings and revivals across the state.
Gwen was minister of music at First Baptist Church in Eupora from May 2005 until October 2008. Afterwards, she was minister of music at Fellowship Baptist Church in Bellefontaine. She home-schooled her daughter and was the choral director of the Junior High Homeschool Choir.
At an early age, Gwen was exposed to and taught Southern gospel music by her father. She along with her father, mother, and sisters performed Southern gospel concerts throughout the state.
One of Gwen’s many loves was scrubbing with her father in surgery during the summers of her pre-medical training.
Services were held Tuesday, Oct. 11, at First United Methodist Church, in Eupora, where she served as youth music director during her college years. Officiating on the program were: Rev. Trey Harper, Rev. Don Vaughan, and Rev. Jon Doler.
Eulogies were given by her cousins Mary Lynn Booth Kotz and Jolee Childs Hussey. Musicians were Becky Carver, Mary Lynn McCully, Stephen Prewitt, Lisa Threet, Rev. Trey Harper and Booth Family Singers.