Gwendolyn Elaine (nee Evans) Sullivan was born on April 8, 1942 to Mens A. Evans and Maudestine Barnes who both preceded her in death. Gwen as most people called her, was born, raised and educated in Detroit Michigan where she lived for 75 years until relocating to Franklinton, NC in 2017.
Although Gwen worked for Wayne County in Michigan for over 38 years her first love was being in the kitchen. Those who knew her well could tell many stories about mom’s famous “dressing” recipe, the huge but delicious coconut cakes and her secret recipe sweet potato pies. In her years in the kitchen where she was at her happiest mom fed many people, filled more take away plates than anyone could ever count and invited everyone back for more.
Gwen met Oz Sullivan (Pete as she called him) as a teenager while she was attending Central High School in Detroit, after graduation the two married and had 2 daughters, Tracy Denise (Sullivan) Grandberry and Juanita Lynne (Sullivan) Dorsey. Mom also loved and raised her niece Mandisa Knrumah, one would never have known that they were aunt and niece instead of mother and daughter.
Gwen had 6 siblings 3 preceded her in death they were Anita Walker, Phyllis Allen and Steven D. Barnes.
Gwen is survived by her daughters Tracy Denise and Juanita Lynne (Michael), her brother Furman (who held a special place in her heart, 2 sisters Kelli and LaShawne Evans, 10 grandchildren, Juwan Sullivan (mom thought Juwan was her son but we all knew he was her first-born grandchild and her oldest grandson!) Brittany Bridges, Stephanie Harper, Brooke Bridges, Christopher Bridges, Michael Dorsey Jr, (Erika) Dymond Sullivan, Trista Grandberry, Jazz Brown, Armonie Sullivan, Aaliyah Osuagwu (Ogemdi) and Kijauna Bowman who preceded her in death, 13 great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and a host of other friends and family.
Although everyone who knew Gwen touched her life in their own special way there are a few that we would like to mention. Tawny Barnes (niece) who always treated her with respect, loved her as a second mother and would do anything she could for her. Michael Dorsey (son in law), no one will ever know how he took special care of her in her last couple of years of life. Those two spent countless hours together as I worked every day, they developed a special bond that we as her daughters will never forget. A very special friend from Detroit, Minnie Joyce, those two could talk! They talked many days starting from 5 am and talked for hours, mom frequently talked about her buddy and when she relocated to NC Minnie continued to check on mom until the end. Sandra Johnson from NC, Sandra would come and get mom a couple times a week, take her shopping, out to have lunch, sing with her and for her and even dance with mom, those days were precious to mom. Cheryl Alford (NC) as mom’s illness progressed Cheryl was so patient with mom, they would talk and often it was about things Cheryl had no idea of but she always knew when to nod, ask a question and laugh just to let mom know she was listening. Cheryl also had the unique ability to calm mom down when she was getting restless and anxious. Jackie Gregory (NC), Jackie took time to pick mom up for rides, trips to the mall and even took her to lunch in the park, mom truly enjoyed her company. Tracy and I are grateful for all of your special times with our dear mother, again we thank each and everyone of her family and friends who touched her life in one way or another.
The family would like to thank Duke Homecare and Hospice Center for the way they took care of mom during her last weeks of life.
We would also like to thank Carlton Gray Funeral & Cremation Services of Raleigh, NC and Husband Family Funeral Home of Westland, Michigan for the gentle, kind and respectful way they handled moms remains.
To all other family and friends, we would like to express our deep and sincere appreciation for all the kind expressions of sympathy and love which has been extended to us during our period of bereavement.
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