Gwen Roberts Sharp, 91, passed away peacefully on November 12, 2019 at Pruitt Health in Aiken, SC.
Gwen was born on July 19, 1928 in Brookville, PA to Edward (Ted) Mortimer Roberts and Esther Leah Jordan Roberts. Gwen spent her childhood years in Pennsylvania and Ohio. She graduated from high school in Phillipsburg, PA with a scholarship to Penn State, but chose instead to enroll in Catawba College in Salisbury, NC to be closer to family. In 1949, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and went on to further her education at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC. One of only three women in her graduating class, she earned a Master's Degree in Physiology, in 1953. She was then accepted into Wake Forest’s Bowman Gray School of Medicine. Here she met Jim Sharp “Kits”, the charming surgical resident who became her husband on December 21, 1954 in Winston-Salem, NC. She graduated from Bowman Gray in 1955.
Following her internship at City Hospital in Winston-Salem, Gwen completed her residency in Anesthesia at Baptist Hospital, Winston-Salem, NC and went on to practice in Reidsville, NC, Syosset Hospital, Long Island, NY, and Riverside Hospital in Jacksonville, FL.
During their time in New York, Kits, newly re-enlisted in the Navy was transferred to Vietnam for a year. Gwen continued to work part-time and care for their four children. Navy life moved the family from New York to Jacksonville, FL, then to Naples, Italy and finally to Charleston, SC, where Gwen shared her gifts and talents as president of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Guild, as a physiology instructor at Trident Community College and as an active member of Yeamans Park Presbyterian Church.
In 1985, Kits retired from the Navy and went to work for the VA Hospital in Lake City, FL. Here, Gwen was hired by the Columbia County Library system to initiate a Laubach literacy program and train its tutors. In 1988, Gwen and Kits built their dream home along the St. Johns River in Green Cove Springs, FL. She continued her commitment to adult literacy and created the Clay County Literacy Coalition. In her spare time, she served on the board of the Clay County Council on Aging and delivered for their “Meals on Wheels” program. She was also a member of the Clay County Historical Society and the Village Improvement Association of Green Cove Springs until December 2012 when she settled in Aiken, SC.
She is survived by her children Sally Sharp Paulissen (Chris) of Aiken, SC, Jim Sharp of Austin, TX, Molly Sharp of Aiken, SC, and Annie Sharp Dahmen (John) of Fredericksburg, VA; 4 grandchildren, Zachary Paulissen of Aiken, Jordan Dahmen (Taylor) of Ashburn, VA, Carleigh Dahmen and James Dahmen of Fredericksburg, VA; great granddaughter Charlotte Dahmen. She is also survived by her brother Thomas Jordan Roberts (Pat) of Aiken and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Dr. James V. Sharp and her sisters Marjorie Roberts Schoepfle Lease and Norma Jean Roberts Fry.
She has been a member of the St. John’s Methodist Church since 2013. A memorial service will be held at St John’s United Methodist Church, 104 Newberry St. NW, Aiken, SC 29801 on Wednesday November 27, 2019 With Pastor Butch Blackwell officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Florida United Methodist Children’s Home, Wounded Warrior Project, Heifer International, or the American Cancer Society.