Gwendolyn Carswell

Gwendolyn Carswell (Gilyard)

Saturday, March 22nd, 1924 - Saturday, May 23rd, 2020
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Gwendolyn E. Carswell was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on March 22, 1924 to Robert and Viola Gilyard. She had one older brother, Robert, Jr., and later a sister came after her, named Mary Alice. After her mother’s death when she was ten years old, Gwen and her sister moved with relatives to Ocala, Florida. She moved to Atlanta in 1941, where she met and married Thomas Carswell. They went on to have two daughters, and she was very happy making a home for her family.

Gwen was always very curious and very smart. As a young girl, she followed fire trucks to the scene to see what was happening. She was also very attentive and intelligent. Although she did not complete high school, people often thought she was a teacher because she spoke so well. This was always a source of pride for her. She read the newspaper every day and could tell you what was going on in the business world and society in general. Admitting to having a tremendous “sweet tooth” she baked two cakes every weekend, and how she loved eating that cake with ice cream!

Gwendolyn valued her family and friends, always looking out for her neighbors for whom she had great affection. Shopping with and for the neighbors on the weekends, going door-to-door for the March of Dimes campaign, she taught her children to be of service to others. She joined Elizabeth Baptist Church in 1962 where she served faithfully on the usher board for many years.

Gwen was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas, in 2000, her only sister, Mary Alice, in 2013, and her son, Robert “Bobby” Stokes, in 2018. She is survived by three daughters, JoAnne Smith, of Detroit, MI, Deborah Harris (Don), and Jan Carswell both of Atlanta; grandchildren, Karen “Neicy” Session, Michael Aaron (Kathy), Sydni Williamson, and Langston Harris; great-grandchildren, Richard Session (Eva), Erica Session, Kaleb and Kameron Aaron, Michael III and Ryan Aaron, Alaiyah Harris, and Shannon McCloud; great-great grandchildren, Symone, Symiah, and Shelbi; and a host of family members and great friends who loved her as she loved them.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, May 28th, 2020 | 10:00am - 7:30pm
    Thursday, May 28th, 2020 10:00am - 7:30pm
    Herschel Thornton Mortuary
    3346 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW
    Atlanta, Georgia 30331
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Friday, May 29th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Friday, May 29th, 2020 11:00am
    Herschel Thornton Mortuary
    3346 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW
    Atlanta, Georgia 30331
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Due to social distancing protocols, attendance for the funeral service is limited to immediate family only. The funeral will be livestreamed on this page for the convenience of those who are unable to attend in person.
  • Interment

    Friday, May 29th, 2020 |
    Friday, May 29th, 2020
    Westview Cemetery
    1680 Ralph David Abernathy SW
    Atlanta, Georgia 30310
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Aisha Harris, Lynda McClenton & The Florida Family -WILSON/GILYA, and other have sent flowers to the family of Gwendolyn Carswell (Gilyard).
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Chris Puri

Posted at 06:26pm
To the family and especially my friend Jan: My deepest sympathies for your loss. She is in heaven with the Lord as we speak. God Bless all of you.
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Galilee Hour of Power

Posted at 07:43pm
To Sis. JoAnn Smith and Family,

On behalf of the Galilee Hour of Power (Detroit) we extend our heartfelt sympathy and prayers as you celebrate the life of your mother, Mrs. Gwendolyn Carswell. " Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.d Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (john 11:25-26. ESV.) May God grant you peace and comfort through your memories. Sis. Tina Bryant, Dean; Dea. Robert Carter, Superintendent; Rev. Tellis Chapman, Pastor

Georgia Edwards

Posted at 10:43am
Deepest condolences praying for comfort from the Lord God Almighty today and always.

Aisha Harris

Posted at 08:54am
We will miss you Grandmother Carswell Love you always from Aisha and the boys!!!
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Aisha Harris purchased the Your Light Shines for the family of Gwendolyn Carswell. Send Flowers

Willie Slaton III

Posted at 08:28am
Heartfelt condolences to the family of Mrs. Gwen Carswell. We have known and loved this family since we were children growing up in the Adamsville community. Words cannot express our deep sense of loss at the passing of your dear mother. May you find comfort in knowing that she loved the Lord.
Willie and Cynthia Slaton
C.L. Harper High School Class of 1974


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