Cover photo for Gwen Arnold's Obituary
Gwen Arnold Profile Photo
1925 Gwen 2020

Gwen Arnold

September 27, 1925 — January 2, 2020

On January 1, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas, Gwen suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage. She never regained consciousness and on January 2, 2020, she left this world to be reunited with her husband, Harlan (“Fuzz”), her parents William and Edith Tolleson Essary and her beloved pets who had preceded her in death.

She is survived by daughters Nona Axton and Edi Arnold, grandchildren Will Axton and Bess (Lawrence) Burton, and great-grandson William Buzzini.

Gwen was born in Pearsall, Texas, and except for brief stints in Smithville, Texas, and Cotulla, Texas, she spent most of her life there.  She graduated from Pearsall High School, where she first caught the eye of Harlan. They married in 1942. She worked for a variety of employers, including her favorite department store, the now defunct Frost Bros in San Antonio. In Pearsall, she worked at Security State Bank, Federal and County Government Offices and Pearsall ISD Business Office. In 2003 she moved to San Antonio to be near her family. In recent years she told people she was in assisted living, “I’m living and my girls are assisting!”

Gwen was an accomplished musician. She played the piano and organ for Sunday School and church services at what was First Methodist Church. She played for community shows and events, including a live radio broadcast and at least one occasion atop a moving parade float. She played for innumerable weddings and funerals. She accompanied soloists and duos, filling her living room with joyous rehearsals.

Gwen had strong convictions and was a fierce warrior in defense of those convictions. Her letters were frequently published by editors of San Antonio newspapers and national magazines. She fought to secure bans on smoking in public places, including testifying before the Texas Legislature.

In her later years she spent her time reading books, emailing friends, playing her keyboard and working word puzzles. She had things her way to the end, dying ‘unexpectedly’ at age 94. Chances are the picture above illustrates her transition on January 2nd, safely in the arms of her one and only love.

While no formal service is planned, the family will gather on March 21, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. at the Pearsall Cemetery for the interment of Gwen’s cremains. Friends are welcome to attend. Those wishing to honor Gwen’s memory are encouraged to donate to Judy’s Ark, 2222 BI-35 E, Pearsall, Texas 78061, or to the charity of their choice.


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