Gwendolyn Thurmond Raab of Tempe, Arizona passed away peacefully of heart failure at Banner Desert Hospital after a month-long illness on February 15, 2022. She was 84. She was born in Lefors, Texas to the late James “Jimmy” Thurmond and Jessie Taylor Thurmond, whom she loved dearly. In high school she was valedictorian, played the flute and basketball, and was editor of the school newspaper. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Oklahoma State University while also performing as the drum majorette for the university band. She then went on to complete her master’s degree from Colorado State College, Greeley, where she met her future husband, Dr. William Raab, an Army veteran (who proposed over the telephone!). It was highly unusual for a woman to complete her master’s degree in 1960. They lived in New Orleans for a brief time before heading back to their home in the panhandle of Texas. After struggling with infertility, they adopted their two children at birth, James and Robyn Raab. Gwen dedicated her life to teaching and counseling others. She pursued her PhD in Educational Psychology from Arizona State University. In her free time, she painted beautiful oil paintings and wrote poetry and short stories. She was a passionate fan of collegiate basketball. Her favorite memories were spent fishing at the Thurmond family cabin in Colorado. She was the Coordinator of Re-Entry Services at Scottsdale Community College, a position she held for 25 years before retiring in 2002. While at SCC, she worked tirelessly to help those re-entering college after hardship or after being out of the workforce for many years. She impacted and inspired many lives while there. Gwen was an educator, an intellectual, a feminist, a counselor and fierce advocate for those who were underserved in the community. She is survived by her daughter, Robyn Raab Doten, married to Sol Doten of 25 years. She is the proud grandparent of Dylan and Katelyn Doten. In lieu of flowers, please send your tax-deductible donations to the https://www.scottsdalecc.edu/alumni-friends/gehler and under “Tribute Gift” type Gwen’s name. Your gift will be deposited into the existing Gehler Student Emergency Fund at Scottsdale Community College to help students in financial crisis. Students will be notified they are receiving the support because of the generosity of Gwen’s family and friends.
Richardson Funeral Home, Tempe, Arizona is compassionately serving the Raab family.
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Published by Richardson Funeral Home – Tempe on Feb. 18, 2022.