On Tuesday, November 1, 2022, Gwynne (Johnson) Denton, a beloved wife of 65 years, devoted mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, peacefully passed away, surrounded by family.
She was born in Quanah, Texas on September 19, 1938. Growing up in the differing cultures of Texas and California, she developed a strong sense of self-reliance and a worldly view at a young age. She met her lifelong soulmate, James Denton, in elementary school. Who knew that by throwing dirt clods at her, he’d win her heart in high school with a game of Knocking for Love. They married November 21, 1956 and began a journey together that would take them around the world.
In LA, Gwynne worked as an accountant at a large furniture store while James served in the Navy. With an honorable discharge in hand, they moved to Lubbock, Texas. Gwynne secured a position as a title clerk with a car dealership and together they attended Texas Tech. Before long they bought their first home and started a family. Little did Gwynne know that James would soon surprise her with a career change. After three years of teaching, James joined the Air Force and that’s when the true adventure began. Gwynne became a military wife, creating a home for her family wherever the latest assignment took them. When James was stationed in Turkey for a one year remote tour, Gwynne cared for her two young daughters in California and then singlehandedly reunited the family in Germany. It was there that Gwynne discovered an enduring love of travel, doing her best to see as much of Europe as she could. Upon their return to the states, Gwynne focused on exploring each of her new homes and resumed her pursuit of a college degree. Their assignment at the Pentagon proved to be her all-time favorite. Surrounded by the politics and history of the area, and undaunted by the whining of her family, Gwynne sought out every monument, museum, play, and cultural event to be had. While living in the Washington, D. C. area, and being no stranger to long separations, Gwynne once again cared for her now challenging preteen daughters when James was overseas in Thailand for a year. Assignments in Georgia, Nebraska, and New Mexico rounded out their military service. During that period Gwynne continued to raise her girls, much of the time on her own. She juggled the demands of family, both near and far, and completed her degrees in History and Sociology, graduating with honors from Bellevue University. Gwynne and James retired in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She embraced being settled and filled her time with family, friends, attendance at continuing education courses, volunteer work as an ombudsman, and of course extensive travel.
Gwynne was a voracious reader and a lifelong student who pursued her interests in history, sociology, and politics. As a world traveler she explored 5 continents and 49 states. Her motto was, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” She enjoyed decorating, antiquing, and thrift shopping. Gwynne’s greatest joy, however, came from love of family. She treasured our craziness and loved that we laughed together. We will sorely miss her quick wit, devotion, support, and wise guidance.
At Gwynne’s request, no service will be held. A small Celebration of Life for family and close friends will be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Albuquerque Public Library Foundation (https://www.abqlibraryfoundation.org/donate) in honor of Gwynne Denton.