Gretchen E. Blackwell

Gretchen E. Blackwell

October 28, 1952 - October 16, 2016

Gretchen E. Blackwell

October 28, 1952 - October 16, 2016


Ph.D. Gretchen E. Blackwell Winfrey, formerly of Rock Island, IL, went to be with the Lord Oct. 16, 2016.

She was the loving wife of Bruce L. Winfrey, daughter of Ernest and Eloise Furstenau, and sister of Virginia McCain.

Private family burial will be held. Memorial services will be Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 4 p.m., at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 600 St. Andrews Road, Newport Beach, CA 92663. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the American Cancer Society.

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3 responses to Gretchen E. Blackwell

  1. Please accept my sincere and heartfelt sympathy on the passing of Gretchen. My ties with Gretchen and her family extend back to our teen years when we were members of Rainbow Girls. Gretchen was from Rock Island, I was from Moline, the neighboring city. I was honored to serve as a state representative during the year Gretchen served Rainbow Girls as Grand (State of Illinois) Worthy Advisor. Together we traveled the state of Illinois visiting both large and small towns. Every weekend included travels to at least 2 or 3 venues. At such an early age, Gretchen was composed, mature, deep-thinking young women whose foundation was her faith is God. I received a note and a gift from Gretchen a couple of years ago and it was so good to reconnect after so many years. Please know that Gretchen was loved and respected and her passing leaves a void in the many lives she touched.

    Linnea Thompson, Moline, IL

  2. Suzann Gage says:

    I too was in rainbow girls with Gretchen. I remember her to be a sweet, kind, loving, caring and fun loving person. She always struck me as being mature and even in how she handled and responded to things. I am not surprised that she got a PhD. You could see that she was smart and focused and could probably accomplish anything she put her mind to. I am so deeply sorry for your loss.

  3. Gwen Foulkes says:

    I met Gretchen in junior high when her family moved to Rock Island. We shared church membership, high school homeroom, & Rainbow. Our parents also became good friends – we even brought Gretchen’s father a coffee cup from Furstenau, Germany! She was a gracious & caring state leader of Illinois Rainbow. We giggled our way thru a number of road trips & slumber parties. Her thoughtfulness, poise & deep faith sustained her thru the trials of life. My sympathy to you all.

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