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Gwendolyn R. Sharples


January 3, 2014

Gwendolyn R. Sharples, 93, passed away on Jan. 2, 2014, in Chinook, Mont., due to natural causes. Funeral services will be held on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, at 11 a.m. at the Chinook United Methodist Church. 

Arrangements have been made by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook.

Gwen was born on Feb. 10, 1920, in Des Moines, Iowa to Rupert and Leslie McCanon.  She graduated from high school in Kansas City, Kan., where she excelled in swimming and diving. 

Her family moved to Scobey, Mont., and Gwen attended Northern Montana College where she met the love of her life, Frank Sharples, whom she married on May 4, 1941, in Scobey, officiated by her father the Rev. McCanon. 

They celebrated their 72nd anniversary last spring. During their first years of marriage they were separated while her husband Frank served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. Gwen had six children to whom she was a full-time mother. 

Gwen worked with Frank at their Sharples’ Jewelry Store after her children were older. She engraved hundreds of sport trophies, plates and cups for northern Montana schools, banks and families. Gwen was also renowned as a professional baker and decorator of wedding cakes. She also learned to fly an airplane at the age of 60 and was a life member of the order of the Eastern Star, Daughters of the Nile and American Legion Auxiliary.  

Gwen is survived by her husband Frank and children Phyllis (Bob) Gibson of Great Falls, Katheryn (Pat) Vache of Redmond, Wash., Robert (Linda) Sharples of Chinook, Mike Sharples of Butte, Jamie (Cynthia) Sharples of Chinook and Gwen (Mike) Bale of Billings, Mont.; a brother, Kenneth of Winfield, Kan.; 24 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. 

She is the first person to pass away of her direct family and so is paving the way for her descendants to a better place. Gwen was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Gordon and Clifford. 

Memorials can be sent to the Sweet Memorial Nursing Home building fund in Chinook.


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