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Gwendolyn "Gweny" Tooles

April 25, 1944 ~ March 20, 2024 (age 79) 79 Years Old
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Gwendolyn "Gweny" Tooles Obituary

Gwendolyn Tooles, 79 of Coatesville, PA departed this life peacefully at her home on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, after a lengthy illness. She was the third of eight daughters born on April 25, 1944, to the late Wilbur "Sticks" Tooles and Dolly Mae Arnold Tooles.

She was affectionately known as "Gweny" or "Gwen.” She was educated in the Coatesville Area School District. 

Gwen was a pillar of the community. She often advocated for many and inspired others regardless of their age or race. She had a sense of humor and an infectious laugh. A confidant to many including young adults, single mothers, the elderly, local city officials and employees, business owners, and ministers. She was in support of various organizations and churches. Members of the former Parliament Drill Team were dear to her. She nurtured the youth with love, guidance, and finances. Her support ensured they traveled to compete in parades and had all the necessary equipment. She would tailor and dry clean their uniforms for free. This allowed them to represent their hometown, in a professional manner with dignity.

For over thirteen years, Gwen was employed as manager of the former One Hour Cleanerama Dry Cleaners. It was one of the 1st Black-owned businesses in downtown Coatesville, PA. She was a talented seamstress who frequently worked on customer's garments that required arduous alterations.

Following her tenure at the Cleanerama, she was gainfully employed for over twenty years as a nursing assistant at the Coatesville VA Medical Center. She exemplified dedication and commitment in providing quality care to Veterans. Numerous certificates of achievement and letters of recognition were awarded throughout her government career.

Gwen had an eye for fashion like no other! She was considered a "Trendsetter" of women's clothing, accessories, jewelry and hairstyles. She often tailored her own nursing uniforms as well as her family members and close friends. Her home interior and gardening skills also raised the bar and set trends in the community. Her home decor was that of a furniture store showroom with unique color schemes and extravagant window treatments. She beautified her yard with flowers, plants, bushes, and trees. She enjoyed spending quality time with her family and friends. She would frequently visit her old neighborhoods including, Spruces, Modena, Hayti, South Coatesville and West Chester to socialize and reminisce. Her greasy rice and fresh sweet potatoes were usually requested dishes at family gatherings and community events.

Gwen enjoyed reading the Bible and had numerous hobbies. She enjoyed listening to gospel, R&B and oldies music. Some of her favorite music artists were James Cleveland, Mahalia Jackson, Betty Wright, Teddy Pendergrass and Jeffrey Osborne. She liked watching sports, especially basketball and boxing. Michael Jordan was her favorite athlete and she also admired Kobe Bryant even naming her dog after him. She would frequent Atlantic City to watch boxing matches, play the slot machines, and listen to the ocean. Gwen's favorite holiday was Christmas. She would find such pleasure in decorating her home and displaying her angel collection. Her rooms were “filled” with gifts she wrapped for her children, grandchildren, family members, friends, neighbors, customers, and coworkers.

Gwen loved her family tremendously. She often displayed affection through her vibrant personality and unconditional encouragement and support to each and every member. She will be greatly missed as a matriarch of the Tooles family.

Her legacy and expressions of love will continue through her children, Vanessa Tooles, Donald White (wife, Michele), Eric White (fiancée, Denine Rosa), and Ronnette S. Tooles all of Coatesville, PA; sisters, Kathryn Bailey and Deborah Tooles both of Coatesville, PA, and Dr. Carla Tooles-Walls (husband, Benjamin) of Beltsville, MD; 18 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; 7 great-great-grandchildren, several other children she helped raise, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

In addition to her parents, Gwen was preceded in death by her sisters: Barbara A. Johnson, Jacqueline Tucker, JoAnn Tooles-Brown and Margaret Tooles.

A funeral service is scheduled for 11:00 AM, Friday, March 29, 2024, at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 819 Coates Street, Coatesville, PA, 19320. A viewing will be held beginning at 9:00 AM until 10:45 AM.

Click here on Friday, March 29th at 10:45 AM  EST to WATCH THE SERVICE LIVE on Zoom.

Zoom Meeting ID: 846 9015 0438   Passcode: Wright

The committal service and interment will be in New Evergreen Cemetery, Coatesville, PA.

Condolences may be shared at the guestbook tab. Condolences to be read should be faxed to 610-383-7523 or emailed to wrightfuneralsvs@aol.com to the funeral home by Thursday 4 PM.  

Family and friends may share condolences at the guestbook link on this memorial page where you may light a candle in her memory.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gwendolyn "Gweny" Tooles, please visit our floral store.

Funeral Service

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March 29, 2024

9:00 AM to 10:45 AM
Tabernacle Baptist Church
819 Coates Street
Coatesville, PA 19320

Funeral Service
March 29, 2024

11:00 AM
Tabernacle Baptist Church
819 Coates Street
Coatesville, PA 19320

Video is available for this event

Interment Following Funeral Service

New Evergreen Cemetery
204 Cemetery Road
Coatesville, PA 19320


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