Gwendolyn Ella Wood
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Gwendolyn E. Spaulding (nee Wood), age 65, passed away peacefully, Monday, April 21, 2014, at Aquinata Hall assisted living facility after a short, recurrent bout with cancer. She is preceded in death by her parents, Gerald and Germaine Wood, and her sister, Geraldine, and brother-in-law David Krajewski.
She spent many years caring for her parents in their diminished states, as well as, her sister during her battle with cancer. She leaves behind many friends from her career at Merrill Lynch where she began as a client associate while attending Davenport College in Grand Rapids. Even before completing her degree, her talents quickly became evident and she assumed a role in compliance and audit where she traveled nationally with stops at regional offices in Lansing, Detroit, and Chicago. Gwen settled in California in the early 1980s as the regional liaison manager over the Southern California operations. She was soon promoted to corporate operations liaison manager in Princeton, New Jersey, at Merrill Lynch World Headquarters where she led the development of the company’s first paperless computerized communication system “A.S.A.P” which is still being used today. It was at this time that Gwen was recognized as one of the earliest Female Administrative Managers on Wall Street. She rose to the position of Senior Vice President and Regional Administrative Manager of the Southern Territory which was headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina. After a career that spanned over 30 years, she retired as a true pioneer. Through her tireless efforts, Gwen blazed the path for many others who ultimately followed in her footsteps through both her career and leadership.
Gwen cherished her responsibilities in the supportive community of Gilda’s Club where she served as a mentor for the lung cancer support group, providing a link for people who may otherwise feel alone in their cancer journey. Gwen lived the last five months with the Dominican Sisters at Aquinata Hall Assisted living facility. The family would like to thank the staff and sisters at the Aquinata for welcoming her into their home and the wonderful care and love that they gave her. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated Monday, April 28, 2014 at 11:00 am at St. Anthony of Padua Church where her family will receive visitors one hour prior to the Mass. Her family will meet with friends Sunday, April 27, 2014, from 7-9 pm at the Arsulowicz Brothers Stocking Mortuary, 585 Stocking NW with a Rosary to be prayed at 7:30 pm. Memorial contributions, if desired, may be given to Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, Dominican Sister’s Aquinata Hall, Dominican Sister’s Legacy Fund, or Faith Hospice.