Gwendolyn E Francis

December 17, 2020

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Celebrating Gwendolyn (Penrose) Francis - Funeral Services (Zoom)

Wed Dec 23, 2020 11am – 12:15pm Eastern Time - New York
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Gwendolyn E. (Penrose)Francis  was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on the beautiful day of September 15, 1927. Gwendolyn was the seventh of nine children born to the late  Lambert S. Moore  of Barbados and  Constance Irene (Harris) Moore  of Barbados. She and her siblings, Edna (deceased), Erskine (deceased), Mildred (deceased), Melvin (deceased), Harold (deceased), Ashton (deceased), Francis (deceased) and Moses were very close knit. Unfortunately, Harold and Ashton passed before she was born. Therefore, she did not experience their love and protection that only a brother could give to a sister. Gwen, as many people called her, attended the Cambridge public school system. She married a tall strikingly handsome man named Raymond Penrose (deceased) of Columbus, Ohio and they had five children, Ronald (deceased), Irene, Raymond Jr., Raylean and Karen. Many years later she married, yet another tall specimen, Wesley E. Francis (deceased) of New Bedford, MA.

Gwen was a long time resident of Cambridge for 93 years - a legend! She worked 29 years at Raytheon’s Missile Division making electronic parts. She felt honored to have met John Glenn, the astronaut, who thanked her for her contribution to the team who built space capsules and the Polaris missile. She received many awards of achievement during her years at Raytheon. She worked at Polaroid, was a bus driver and monitor to children with special needs for the city of Cambridge; always getting lost while driving that darn bus. However, the kids loved and adored her. She was particularly fond of Jeffrey Curley (10) and devastated by his death.

Gwen loved to travel - Alaska, Caribbean, Panama Canal (Uncle Oswald helped to build the Canal), Aruba, Canada and many more adventurous places. During her travels, Gwen met and became friends with actress LaWanda Page, Aunt Esther on Sanford and Son. In 1964 she met Cassius Clay during one of his stays in Boston.
Known for her mouth-watering fried chicken dinners, folks lined up on Western Ave every Saturday. Not only was Gwen a great cook, she received honors from the West Indian Social Club of Hartford, CT for Community Service. Gwen was a member of Juanita Temple #31 Elks Lodge, Cambridge; served as Past Daughter Ruler, and member of the Antler Guard. Her latest proud moment was when Denise Simmons, Cambridge City Councilor, presented the key to the City of Cambridge at her 90th birthday party.

Gwen, also known as “Nana” to many, always greeted her family with a cheerful “hellooo”! She radiated selflessness with her love for others  and created life long relationships with her infectious laugh and smile that warmed all of our hearts. She was smart as a whip and excelled at problem solving as she was a regular at-home contestant on The Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy with her contestant partner, “Uncle Moe”.

Gwen, who lived a beautiful fulfilling life, is succeeded by her children, Irene Ferriabough of Boston, Raylean Bledsoe of Cambridge, Raymond Penrose of Pembroke, MA (Liz), Karen Penrose-Lightfoot of Cambridge (Dennis) and brother, Moses Moore, her rock, of Cambridge. Twelve grandchildren, twenty great grands, one great great grand; cousins and a host of many nieces, nephews and other relatives, along with many close friends including Veneta Hopper, Theresa Gaul, Lucinda Tate, Juanita Waithe and James Nelson (Florida). To her best and long time friend, Anne Simmons, she is coming home and said, “meet you at the Gates!”

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


December 23, 2020

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
A. J. Spears Funeral Home
124 Western Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

Funeral Service
December 23, 2020

11:00 AM
A. J. Spears Funeral Home
124 Western Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

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