Gwynne Garrette Jamieson was born Nov. 2, 1945 in Kingston, Ontario, and died in her sleep of natural causes at her home in Alpine, Texas on April 29, 2020. She was 74 years old.
She left home at an early age, becoming an eighth grade teacher in northern Ontario by the age of 17. She married John Burns Jamieson in 1965, and moved to Sydney, Australia, where she worked as a children’s librarian. Their son, John Garrette Jamieson, was born in Sydney in 1969. Their daughter, Eve Anne Jamieson, was born in Norwood, Massachusetts in 1970.
Gwynne became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1975, graduating from Curry College with a degree in education, and winning a grant to attend library school at Simmons that same year. She started working at Acoustic Research as a secretary, and quickly became an important part of their marketing department.
She enjoyed a successful career in global high-tech marketing management, working for Millipore, WR Grace, and Data General. She founded her own public speaking company, Speakwell Presentations. Gwynne served as president of the Publicity Club of New England, and was on the Board of the New England Speakers Association, and the Sales and Marketing Executives of Greater Boston. She earned her MBA from Cambridge College in 1993, and later her ME.
Gwynne was a special education teacher for the Judge Rotenberg Education Center in Canton, Massachusetts, and for other schools, both public and private. She moved to Alpine in 2013, where she became a substitute teacher and busy volunteer.
Literacy was a lifelong passion of Gwynne’s, reading at least one book per day. She served on the boards of the Morrill Memorial Public Library in Norwood, the Alpine Public Library, and the Literacy Volunteers of America. She was also an educational advocate for UnitedThroughReading.org, connecting overseas military personnel with their children back home through reading. Gwynne also served on the career councils of Brandeis University, the University of Lowell, Radcliffe College, and Curry College.
Gwynne was passionate about the arts. She adored music of many genres, especially country and western, and plays and musicals, and performed in several community theater productions.
She was also a nature lover. Her beloved adopted home of Alpine afforded her the opportunity to become a Texas Master Naturalist, an active member of garden clubs, and a dedicated advocate for the Alpine Railroad Park and Station.
Gwynne was the proud foster mother of the many kids she took in from Vietnam, South Sudan, and Cuba.
A giver by nature, she claimed, “The more you give, the more you get.”
She was also a mentor to many entrepreneurs and business people over the years.
Gwynne loved her “Home, Sweet Home,” Alpine, for its friendly people, live music, vibrant arts scene, starry dark sky, mountains, rocks, climate, birds, flora, and fauna. She enjoyed being a member of the Unitarian Universalists of the Big Bend. She lovingly called Alpine her “Brigadoon.” Her seven years there were by far her happiest.
Gwynne is survived by her son, John Garrette Jamieson and his wife Nan of El Rito, New Mexico; daughter Eve Jamieson and grandchildren, Liam, Nolan, Patrick, Nora, Iris, and Desmond, all of Boothbay, Maine; foster children Quan, Lynn, and Hoang Nguyen and their families, and Mayuen Angara. Also special to Gwynne were her honorary daughters, Tammy Nguyen and Kathy Pham and their families.
Gwynne is also survived by her sister, Lise Garrette (Steve), nephews Graem and Geoffrey Garrette, and Carson and Patrick Smulders, all of Canada. She maintained contact with dear friends Genie Berger, Mary Ann Buchowski, Joyce MacLean, Nick Reinhardt, Mort Glass, Sheila Watnick, Laurie Harrison, Eve Birch, and many, many others.
Gwynne also leaves behind her cherished Jack Russell “terror,” Mustang Sally, who is being cared for by Grand Companions of Fort Davis while awaiting her new forever home.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Margery Edith (Angell) Garrette, and Grant Gwynne Garrette and Edith (Price) Garrette, brother Glen Garrette, special aunts Jeannette Porter and Marjorie Black, and ex-husband, John Burns Jamieson.
Her family is extremely grateful to the many organizations, friends, and neighbors who made her albeit too short time in Alpine so filled with joy.