Obituary: Alice Gwin, 65, formerly of Washington

Staff Writer
Washington Times-Reporter

URBANA — Rev. Alice Gwin, 65, of Flatville, died Thursday, April 19, 2012, at Carle Hospital, Urbana, following a short illness.

She was born June 8, 1946, to Phyllis Swanson Mennenga and Alvin Mennenga.

She was preceded in death by her parents. 

She is survived by a sister, Arlene Mennenga O’Meara (Terry O’Meara) of Oak Park and a brother, Alan (Vicky) Mennenga, with whom she shared a home for the last year; by nieces and nephews Ashleigh (Chris) Schoonover of Flatville; Patrick O’Meara of Oak Park; Angela Mennenga of Thomasboro; Katherine O’Meara of Viveiro, Spain; Emily Mennenga of Flatville; Kelly O’Meara of Oak Park; and Shannon Mennenga of Flatville; by great-nieces, Paige and Elizabeth Schoonover of Flatville.

Her illness was exacerbated from polio she contacted when she was two years old. Although polio affected her body, she did not let it influence her life, which touched so many.

After graduation from Rantoul Township High School, she worked for the Department of the Air Force, primarily at Chanute Air Force Base, starting as a secretary and ending as registrar at Chanute when she retired in 1992. She also spent three years at an Air Force Base in Ubon, Thailand (1971-1974), working as the administrative assistant to the base commander.

 When Chanute AFB closed, she earned her master of divinity degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, in 1996. She was ordained a minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1997 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Flatville. 

She served as an associate pastor at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Washington. until 2008. 

While in Washington, she was a member of the Tazewell/Woodford Youth Services Board, pastoral advisor to the Northern Conference Youth Board, on the board of Mosaic and a member of the ELCA/CSIS Synodical Candidacy Committee.

 When she returned to the Thomasboro area, she continued to serve, working as a frequent substitute teacher and volunteering as a one-on-one tutor and a tutor for women at the county jail through Project READ.

  A memorial service will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. May 12 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Flatville.