Mrs. Gwendolyn Bishop Chambliss' extraordinary life began in Starkville, Mississippi on March 22, 1933 as Edward S. Bishop and Eva H. Bishop welcomed into this world their first child and only daughter, Gwendolyn Theresa Bishop (Gwen). She enjoyed a nurturing, loving and active childhood with her four younger brothers, Edward Bishop, Ralph Bishop, B. V. Bishop and Harold Bishop. Their growing family lived in Starkville, Jackson and finally in Corinth, MS. The Bishops raised their children in a loving Christian home and made Saint Mark Baptist Church the family’s church home. Gwen’s life of giving and Christian service was cultivated in her remarkable family. Eva, would tell the story of how her daughter, Gwen, gave away a brand new coat to a needy classmate. There are many stories like this throughout Gwen’s life that exemplified Christ’s love to others.
Education was paramount in the Bishop household. Gwen was educated in the Corinth, MS school system and received her high school diploma from Corinth Colored High School in 1951. She continued her education at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. At Spelman she was sang in the choir, was a member of several committees and was elected a college sweetheart at nearby Morehouse College.
After graduating in 1955 from Spelman, Gwen moved back to Mississippi and started a teaching job in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She relocated to Jackson, MS where she met and married Carneal E. Chambliss, Jr. in April, 1957. They were blessed with two children, Karen and Carneal III, whom they raised in a home of love, service and education. The family joined and were active members of United Christian Church where Gwen remained a member and leader until her departure.
Wanting to further her education, Gwen began graduate studies at Colorado State University, Greely, CO. Her studies were completed at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1971 at which time she received her Master of Science Degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences. She also did post graduate work at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL. She was awarded the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) by the American Speech Language Association.
Gwen was a lifelong educator. She impacted many lives as a third-grade teacher in the Jackson Public School System. While still working with JPS, she changed her title from teacher to speech pathologist after receiving her master’s degree. It was at this time that she began her long and illustrious career at Jackson State University where she served as a tenured Assistant Professor of Communicative Disorders. Always a motivator and tireless worker, she worked with Dr. Dora Washington to develop the curriculum for the Communicative Disorders Program on the undergraduate level of which they became the first two instructors of the program. She also assisted in writing a proposal to start a graduate program for speech language and hearing. Under her supervision, JSU Communicative Disorders Department started providing clinical services to Head Start students to aid in speech and language development. Additionally, she developed and facilitated workshops for Head Start teachers. She planned and presented several college short-courses during the summer for classroom teachers. Gwen not only impacted students’ lives through her dynamic teaching, but she also served on department and university wide committees. She retired from JSU in 1998 and returned in 2000 as a Clinical Supervisor for graduate students and continued in that position until 2013.
As well as working at JSU, Gwen worked in the home health care arena, nursing homes, hospitals, and as an assisting certified speech/language pathologist in private practice. Furthermore, she provided screenings and speech/language evaluations for different agencies over the state of MS. She presented training workshops in speech/language for pre-school and elementary teachers over the state of MS.
Gwen has distinguished herself in many arenas and notable accomplishments. Club and church work have always been an important part of Gwen’s life. At United Christian Church she was a choir member, deaconess, and elder as well as serving on many committees and hosting numerous meetings and events. In her community she was involved in her neighborhood association, High School Park Garden and Home Improvement Association, Inc. She was also a supporter of Jackson Metropolitan YWCA.
She continued her impact on young people in the community by being a dedicated mentor with Forward Lookers and the JSD Foundation in partnership with the Myrlie and Medgar Evers Institute. Through this partnership she mentored Sixth grade males of color in JPS District and was twice recognized by Forward Lookers as “Mentor of the Year”. She worked tirelessly with the I CAN Mentor Program and would often speak of the young men.
Gwen’s professional organizations were important to her as well. She was a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), and the National Black Association of Speech and Hearing. She and Dr. Juanita Sims Doty started the Mississippi affiliate of National Black Association of Speech and Hearing in 1980. Retirement did not slow Gwen down. She was a member of AARP association in Jackson, MS, and a proud member and president of the Jackson Metropolitan Retired Education Personnel Association. She loved singing in the Jackson Metropolitan Retired Community Choir. Predecessor of this choir for her was Silver and Gold which she and her friends Norweida Roberts Spencer and Vivian Woods founded and sang at various nursing homes.
Gwen was a member Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and a member of the Spelman College Alumni Association of Jackson, MS. She was founding member of Jack and Jill, Inc., and a charter member of Lefluer Bluff Links.
Gwen was inspired to keep the legacy of her mom, Eva Hunter Bishop who was one founding member of the Federated Clubs of Mississippi. She began this journey in 1978 by becoming a member of the Forward Lookers Federated Clubs in Jackson, MS. She served in many capacities on the local, state, and regional level in the organization for 41 years. She was the local president and led the organization through numerous community service initiatives that included service to a women’s shelter, supplying eye glasses, helping students with ACT testing, mentorship and other work. She served on the state level as a state president in which the State Federation was recognized nationally and received a plaque. On the regional level she served as first vice-president, program chair, chaplain, and parliamentarian. She also served as historian on the national level as well. Gwen was the recipient of many awards with her work in the Federated Clubs. She has received the Uplift Award and Outstanding Leadership and Service Awards.
This beautiful soul transitioned to be with our Heavenly Father on August 22, 2019. She is survived by her children, Karen (Ralph) Clark, Lancaster, TX; Carneal (Demethous) Chambliss Mansfield, TX. One brother, B. V. (Carine) Bishop. Sister in laws, Rosemary Bishop and Phyllis Bishop. Also treasuring her memory are her loving grandchildren, Ralph V. (Keneasha) Clark, II, Eva Clark (Alex) Edeigba, James V. Clark, Anna Chambliss, Aryn Chambliss, Carneal E. Chambliss IV, Gigi’s great grands, Hannah Clark and James Duke Clark.
To know Gwendolyn Bishop Chambliss was to love her. The greatest commandment in the Bible is to Love God with all your heart and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself. Gwen did indeed follow and believe this commandment!
Visitation hours will be held on Thursday, August 29, 2019, at Peoples Funeral Home between the hours of 12-6 p.m. located at 886 N. Farish Street - Jackson, Mississippi 39202
Wake hour will follow from 6-8 p.m. at Peoples Funeral Home Chapel.
Funeral Service will be held on Friday, August 30, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at Rose E. McCoy Auditorium on the campus of Jackson State University, located at 1400 J.R. Lynch Street - Jackson, Mississippi 39202.
Interment will follow at Garden Memorial Cemetery - Jackson, Mississippi
*The Gwendolyn B. Chambliss Endowed Scholarship Fund has been established to support undergraduate Jackson State University students studying Communicative Disorders. You may donate to this fund via PayPal (https://www.paypal.com/paypalme2/GBCScholarship?locale.x=en_US) or by sending checks payable to Jackson State University Development Foundation (Memo line: Gwendolyn B. Chambliss Endowed Scholarship) to Post Office Box 16613 Jackson, MS 39236.*
**Florist: Flowers by Will (Chambliss) 511 S. Prentiss Street - Jackson, Mississippi 39203 (601) 944-0132 email@example.com**
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Peoples Funeral Home Phone: (601) 969-3040 Fax: (601) 355-4707
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