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Gwendolyn Sanchez

April 8, 1935 - May 20, 2021

“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.

Service Information

Visitation Information

Date: Thursday, May 27, 2021

Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Altmeyer Funeral Home - Southside Chapel

5033 Rouse Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Service Information

Date: Saturday, May 29, 2021

Time: 11:00 am


Altmeyer Funeral Home - Southside Chapel

5033 Rouse Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Celebration of Life

Cemetery Information

Date: Saturday, May 29, 2021

Time: 12:30 pm


Woodlawn Memorial Gardens

6309 E Virginia Beach Blvd.
Norfolk, Virginia 23502

Committal Service

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What our families say...

My family and I are grateful to Angie and the entire Altmeyer team for providing a thoughtful viewing and funeral service for my Auntie. They were kind and respectful through the entire process, listening attentively and carrying out our requests with compassion. Thank you for your help, but most importantly, thank you for your sincerity!


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