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Gwen Ramey Zeigler

July 29, 1932 — June 3, 2018

Gwen Ramey Zeigler

Gwen Ramey Zeigler passed away in her home on Sunday, June 3, 2018 at the age of 85 years, surrounded by her loved ones.Funeral services will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 9, 2018 at First Baptist Church of Gatesville with Dr. Steve Dominy officiating. Burial will follow at Restland Cemetery.  The family will receive visitors on Friday night from 6 to 8 p.m. at First Baptist Church.Gwen was born July 29, 1932, in Dardanelle, Arkansas, the daughter of W. C. Ramey and Clytie Lucille (Shott) Ramey. After graduating from Winters High School in 1949, Gwen went on to receive her bachelor’s degree from Texas Woman’s University in 1952. Her first teaching job was in Hamilton, Texas. It was there she was persuaded by friends to go on a blind date with a young student teacher named Charles Zeigler, who found this lovely and remarkable young woman to be irresistible. They were married on July 5, 1953.The two embarked on lifelong careers in education. Gwen’s motto was, if it needs to be done, let’s do it. She was often called upon to fill whatever teaching vacancy needed filling, and taught homemaking, 6th grade, high school typing, biology, chemistry, physics and special education. Gwen received her Master of Education from Sam Houston State University in 1971 and was certified as a special education counselor/diagnostician and supervisor. When she and Charles moved to Gatesville in 1972, there was no special education program, so Gwen, with her "just do it" attitude, did what had to be done, and in 1973, the Gatesville special education program began. During her career she became active in many organizations that demonstrated her love for educating and enriching the lives of children, including the Coryell County Child Welfare Board, the Central Texas Council of Governments MHMR Board and the Council for Exceptional Children. She was also active in Delta Kappa Gamma, an honor society for key women teachers, and served as Chairperson for Chapter Achievement Awards.After retiring in 1990, she remained active in many community organizations, including the Coryell County Retired Teachers Association and the Committee of Informative and Protective Services, on which she served as chairperson. At the age of 82, after accumulating well over 1,500 volunteer hours, she was awarded Citizen of the Year by the Gatesville Chamber of Commerce.Gwen had a generous twinkle in her eye which could always be brought out by children. She loved them and spent much of her volunteer time supporting the Boys and Girls Club, especially the Resale Shop, where she wore many hats: board member, handyman/electrician, custodian, florist, warehouse worker, salesperson, landscaper, volunteer supervisor, jeweler, project foreman, and cook. She was a friend to everyone who worked with her.At Gatesville First Baptist, her beloved church home, she served in many capacities including on the board of the First Baptist Academy. Her favorite work was to teach children in Sunday school.Gwen also served at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a Surrogate Parent, helping offenders prepare for release, teaching them interview skills and advocating for them in court.Her extensive community work continued through her battles with chronic pain and cancer. When Gwen’s daughter Suzanne asked her how she did it, Gwen said that after her cancer diagnosis in 2004, she had asked God not to take away the cancer, but to help her deal with it with dignity. From that moment she had felt peace, and so she figured if God could do that for her, then the least she could do was to live for Him. And that is what she did, with determination, dignity, and grace.Resilient to the end, she encouraged friends and family to be not dismayed (John 14:1-4) but to enjoy whatever time she had remaining. The tears of her loved ones would be met with a hearty, “Oh no you don’t!” and a warm embrace.Gwen is preceded in death by Charles Zeigler, her husband of almost 47 years; parents, W.C. and Clytie Ramey; sister, Lucille Stanton; and brother, Bill Ramey.Gwen will be lovingly remembered by her daughter, Suzanne Bounds and husband, Steve; son, John Zeigler and wife, Joy; grandchildren, Stephen Conner and wife, Michele, Michael Conner and wife, Molly, Daniel Zeigler, Timothy Zeigler and wife, Jing, Jessica Zeigler, and Justin Bounds and wife, Beth; great-grandchildren, Hayden and Dakota Conner, Madison and Morgan Conner, and Dakota and Faith Bounds; brothers, Claude Ramey and wife, Erma and Carroll Ramey and wife, Carole; sister, Selma Owens and husband, Robert; and many nieces and nephews.Memorials may be made to the Gatesville First Baptist Church Youth and Children’s programs, 912 E. Main Street, Gatesville, TX 76528 or to the Gatesville Boys and Girls Club, 2533 E. Main Street, Gatesville, TX 76528.
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