On Sunday morning January 17, after a long and valiant battle, Gwendolyn Oates Boyett, lost her fight with cancer and went to live and dance with the angels in the house of the Lord. She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Steve Boyett and their daughter Michele Renee Sims and her husband Gary Sims II, her grandson Gary Sims III and granddaughter Jennifer Sims and the light of her life great grandson Knox Thomas Sims. She is also survived by her sister Denise Oates and sisters-in-law Rebecca Oates, Angela Shaver, Nelda Boyett and Cindy White and her parents-in-law Helen and Walter Boyett and multiple nieces and nephews. Gwen was preceded in death by her parents, Alton Knox Oates and Jacquelyn Spencer Oates, her brother Alton Spencer Oates and brother-in-law Walter Thomas Boyett.
Gwen graduated Autauga County High in 1965, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Auburn University in 1968 and Master of Education from Georgia State University in 1975. She retired from teaching in DeKalb County Ga in 2000 after being Teacher of the Year at Kelly Lake Elementary in 1997.
The Queen of The Krewe de Saloperie, Gwen was a Zydeco/Cajun dancer extraordinaire. Cajun dance halls, honky-tonk dance floors, music festivals and anywhere a live band was playing were a passion of hers throughout the 90’s.
She was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2018 and moved to Houston for a stem cell transplant at MD Anderson in 2019. The transplant was successful in arresting progression but the new cells were never able to restore a normal blood count. She suffered extreme fatigue with very low stamina. She was on a 21 days on and 7 days off chemo treatment (read poison) for life. Often discouraged but never complaining, always a fighter, not willing to surrender even though the beast had a heavy foot on her.
There will be a memorial service at noon March 20 at The Cabin at Camp David. In lieu of flowers the family request donations to The Autauga County Rescue Squad, 145 W 3rd St, Prattville, AL 36067 or Ashiel House 1955 University Blvd, Houston, TX 77030