Mom, Aunt, GG, Gwen. All names used by those who cared for her most in the world. Gwen Lorraine Powell was born February 8, 1944, in Ann Arbor, MI. She was the daughter of Helen Hinterman Powell and John (Jack) Powell
At 4, the family moved to Pleasant Ridge, MI. At 12, she moved to Evansville, IN. She eventually moved back to MI where she attended Ferndale High School and then Michigan State University where she earned a BA in Education in 1965.
She met her husband of 53 years, Michael Elbert, while teaching in Virginia. They were married on July 4, 1967 in Switzerland. They went on to have two sons: Andrew and Christian. They lived in Pleasant Ridge, MI for 28 years. They moved to Tucson, AZ in 2006.
Gwen was a teacher, paraprofessional for the hearing impaired, and went back to work in 1983 full time as a computer analyst for the Henry Ford Health System. She continued her career at Henry Ford after she attended the Accelerated Nursing Program at Wayne State University to pursue hospice nursing. She helped countless families find comfort in knowing their loved ones were in good hands before her retirement in the 2000s.
She was an active community member and loved to sing at their local church, Saguaro Christian Church in Tucson, AZ. She was always looking for charities to donate to and spread light in the world. Anyone who knows her would describe her larger than life personality as generous, kind, and hilarious.
Her husband Michael passed away eight days after she did. She is survived by her sons Andrew Michael Elbert (Alicia) and Christian Powell Elbert (Alison) and four grandchildren, Jack, Emmett, McKenna and Charlotte. She is also survived by her “Mexican son” Fernando Hildebrand, her “niece/ daughter” Barbara Jean (BJ) Martin Madsen (Scott Madsen) and “Tucson grandsons” Seth, Parker and Ben Madsen. Gwen had 9 nephews, 5 nieces, 24 great nieces and nephews and 15 great- great nieces and neph- ews. She has changed these little lives and some of their favorite memories with her are baking bread, sewing, playing games, going to the Gaslight Theatre, and sitting in her backyard picking fruit from the trees.
Donations can be made in Gwen’s name to: Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN), Reid Park Zoo, Heifer International or Thula Thula Safari and Wildlife Reserve.