Gwendolyn Sanchez

April 8, 1935 - May 20, 2021

04/08/1935 - 05/20/2021

Past Services

Thursday May 27, 2021
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Altmeyer Funeral Home - Southside Chapel
5033 Rouse Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
(757) 422-4000 | Directions
Saturday May 29, 2021
11:00 am
Altmeyer Funeral Home - Southside Chapel
5033 Rouse Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
(757) 422-4000 | Directions
Additional Information:

Celebration of Life

Saturday May 29, 2021
12:30 pm
Woodlawn Memorial Gardens
6309 E Virginia Beach Blvd.
Norfolk, Virginia 23502
757-461-4054 | Directions
Additional Information:

Committal Service

“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, Because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: Great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my  soul; Therefore, will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, To the  soul that seeketh him.” 
-Lamentations 3:20-25 
Late evening on Wednesday, May 20th, 2021 Christ dispatched Heaven’s angels on an urgent  mission; their job—escort their devoted, faithful servant into His Blessed Presence. The Angels  swiftly descended upon our darling Gwendolyn, gently placed her weak hand in theirs, lifted her  sick, fragile body from her bed and whispered— 
Our Holy Father says…good and faithful servant you will suffer no more; your work and journey  here are done. Come child, it is time to rest. We will escort you on your final flight Home.  Heaven’s joy. Gwendolyn’s victory. Our sorrow
Gwendolyn Roberts Sanchez was the eldest sister of eight children born to John and Flora  Roberts on April 8th, 1935 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Along with her parents, all seven siblings  preceded her in death- three brothers: Harold, Clarence and Hayden and four sisters: twins Bess & Tess, Hayden’s twin sister-Hazel, and our precious Doris Jean.  
Gwendolyn was a gentle spirit, painfully shy, quiet, soft, responsible, sensitive, respectful, loyal,  reverent, faithful. Always more comfortable in the background. She loved deep, strong, pure,  everlasting, unconditionally. She was motivated by faith, love and family. One of the most kind,  thoughtful, empathetic, forgiving and compassionate people to grace the earth. Grace, that’s the  best way to describe her. In the midst of lifelong challenges, she lived a life of grace. She was  boldly stubborn, determined, hysterical by accident, innocent, naïve even, the antithesis of  worldly. She was a gifted writer, creative, songstress, director. A political firebrand that coveted  her right to vote and never missed an election. Her work ethic was unmatched, hands down, bar  none. First one there, last one to leave, no days off. She was a creature of habit, easily shaken  by change. She was sheer love, sweetness and magic to those she loved and those who loved  her. A huge animal lover, she showed her cherished pups the same love as her human children. As a mother, she was prayerful, doting, focused, protective, supportive, responsible, selfless.  God first, her children second.  
Gwendolyn’s entire life was steeped in deep, encompassing faith. She gave her heart to the  Lord as a child and remained dedicated to Christ until her very…last…heartbeat. She relied on  that great faith to walk her through great personal losses and tragedies in her young life. By the  age of six she had already lost three siblings. At nine she lost her 31-year-old mother.  And then there were six. What remained was a grief-stricken, loving father and five young  children. Ah, but faith, she remained standing.
At fourteen, concerned about the lack of a female presence to guide them, her dad finally  agreed to allow his beloved girls, Gwen fourteen, and her nine-year-old sister, Doris Jean, to  leave Cincinnati and move to Harlem, New York; sent to live with their aunt and uncle, Billy and  Bessie Dee Roberts, founders of Soul Saving Station church and ministry. Gwendolyn’s faith  was richly nurtured under their wise and devoted tutelage and their ground-breaking ministry.  She never quite acclimated to Harlem and missing the daddy and hometown she adored, but  her faith blossomed large. She enjoyed a very active church life, especially known for her  musical gift as a soloist, family trios and choirs, directing and creative direction. 
By sixteen, tragedy struck again back home, she lost her treasured, older brother Harold to  cancer at the young age of seventeen. And then there were five: only three siblings and her  daddy remained. Ah, but faith, she remained standing. 
Gwendolyn graduated high school in Harlem, NY, and 3 years later from Zion Bible College in  Providence, Rhode Island. The knowledge, theological education, discipline, fond memories, joy  and friendships from that time remained close to her heart throughout her life. 
She married, had three children, Kimberly, Robin and Jorge and lost her darling daddy along the  way. Tragedy came for her family again and again. She lost her younger brothers: Clarence at  the age of 39, a year later her youngest brother, Hayden at the age of 40. And then there were  two: the sisters, Gwendolyn and Doris Jean.  
Ah, but faith, she remained standing. 
Gwendolyn’s deep bond with her little sister was indestructible and true. They weren’t just  sisters they were life partners, best friends, advocates, supporters, co-parents, a constant, a  team. Jeanie helped Gwen raise her three children. They remained completely dedicated to  each other in every way throughout their lives until death did they part. Gwendolyn lost her north  star, Doris Jean, almost two years ago. And—then there was one.  
Ah, but faith, she remained standing. 
As an adult Gwendolyn lived in The Bronx, NY, Jersey City, NJ and finally settled and raised her  children in Saratoga Springs, NY where she lived until her retirement from NY state as a therapy  aide for intellectually disabled persons. In 1992 she made her final relocation to Virginia where  she lived until her ascension to Heaven.  
Gwendolyn was a faithful member of the church she loved: Suburban Christian Church in  Virginia Beach for 29 years. She was an active member for 28 of those 29 years, until she was  forced to retire from her beloved choir, unable physically to continue.  
Our dearest Gwendolyn has now shed a body wracked with disease and pain.  No more fear and struggles; she stands renewed, whole and well, rejoicing in the sweet  presence of her Savior, Jesus Christ. Ah, but faith, she remained standing. 
Left to hold cherished memories of Gwendolyn dear; two daughters, Kimberly Sanchez Parker  (Elton), Robin Sanchez (Sly), one son, Jorge Wayne Sanchez, two grandsons, Zachary Gilbert,  Jordan Sanchez Owens, three granddaughters, Haydn Rogers, Malea Hardeman, (Oyintari) Marielle Sanchez, one great-granddaughter, Harlow Noel, one sister-in-law, Aldonia (Chickie) Roberts, four nieces, one nephew, five great-nieces, three great-nephews, one adored pup,  Chance and three grandpups, Brando, Marley and Swyper, treasured cousins and friends, and  one especially doting, devoted, cherished daughter-in-love, Chris Wilson.

12 Condolences
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Dawn Thomas
9 months ago

Happy heavenly birthday my sweet Aunt. We miss you dearly and can’t wait to be reunited again with you, jeanie, daddy and our whole family

Angie D. Todd
1 year ago

To Ms. Gwen, Robin, Kim, Jorge and every precious member of the Sanchez Family, thank you for your trust and for granting me the honor of serving such an astounding woman. I love each of you dearly. May God continuously bless you.

Bonnie Savellr
1 year ago

Her beautiful obituary clearly expresses the truth and essence of Gwen. Her hugs and smiles, strength and faithfulness will always live in our hearts. Condolences to all the family.

Avis Williams
1 year ago

Robin, my sincere condolences to you and your family. Although I did not have the pleasure of meeting your mother I knew that she was a beautiful and an amazing woman when I had the pleasure of meeting you through George. May you be blessed always. Sincerely, Grand.

Crystal Pierson
1 year ago

Robin, George and family,
Duane and I send our love and prayers for comfort. Gwen was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. She is already sorely missed. She was so blessed to have the constant love and care you gave.

Jan (and Ron too)
1 year ago

Robin, Kim, Chip and Families,
Gwen was one of my dearest friends. Anyone that took the time to get to know her realized what a beautiful soul she was! Gwen was kind, humble and compassionate beyond measure. She loved you all so very much. I always loved when we talked and she would “tell” on you guys. I knew everything you did was 100% out of love and concern for her. I would smile and remind her of that. She would giggle and say, “I know.” She did know. It’s just hard letting go of some of our freedoms as we age.
You will all remain in my prayers because I know she would want that and I love you all. Jesus is right there…lean into Him. He will sustain you. Much love.

Sally Niewoehner
1 year ago

Dear Robin, Haydn, and the entire family. Gwen was a TRUE ANGEL here on earth. I have such fond memories of her and her faithfulness to our choir and Suburban Christian Church. I loved her so much. My deepest sympathy to you in her passing on to be with Our Lord. I know she will be singing in that Heavenly Choir. She was a blessing to all. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Chandelle Evans
1 year ago

Michael and I send all our love and deepest condolences to you Robin, George and family. We love you and pray Holy Spirit will comfort and keep you. I loved reading the beautiful memories shared in the obituary. Her faith was inspiring.

Jackie Parker-Mazyck
1 year ago

To: Robin, George , Hayden and the Sanchez family. I just read the most beautifully written obituary I have ever read. I met Gwen a few years prior to George and Robin wedding. She had such a sweet spirit about her. She expressed love and wisdom in all that she was involved in. Two years ago she lost her life partner her sister Jean. I know that took a serious toll on her. Gwen was a special person and she will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace Gwen until God wakes you up in his presence. You are already missed. Robin and George God will be the source of your strength and peace at this time. Robin you went above and beyond for your aunt and most of all for your mother. Gwen knew you love her with all your heart. God bless you and your entire family

Betty Arehart
1 year ago

After reading the beautiful obituary I feel like I really know Gwen and know what a strong faith she and her family have. After she retired from the choir at Suburban Church, she had “her seat” at the end of the last row on the left. I often sat next to her then. I appreciated her granddaughter who brought her and picked her up almost every Sunday. Her family is in our prayers.