Gwen Hutcheson died peacefully in her sleep on June 5, 2019. Gwen was born in Porterdale, Georgia on February 5, 1928 to Rosa Lee Tomlin Norris and William Thomas Norris, Sr.
For 60 years, Gwen served as a teacher and educational leader, advocating for and modeling excellence in Social Studies. Gwen earned degrees from Berry College (B.A. English), Miami University of Ohio (M.A. History), and the University of Georgia (Ed.S.). She taught students in kindergarten through college, in Georgia, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. In 1971, Gwen assumed the role of Social Studies Program Coordinator at the Georgia Department of Education, a position she held for 22 years until her retirement in 1993. As Program Coordinator, she planned, developed, and disseminated curriculum programs for social studies for school systems throughout the State of Georgia. In this position, she traveled extensively throughout the state and beyond and became mentor and friend to countless educators. Her travels included study programs in Egypt, Japan, Mexico, China, and Germany.
After retirement from the Department of Education, Gwen continued to offer her knowledge and expertise by conducting teacher training workshops for We the People and The Georgia Council for Economic Education. Recognizing this lifetime of service and impact, in 2009 the Georgia Council for the Social Studies named their top teaching award the Gwen Hutcheson Outstanding Social Studies Educator Award. Through the years Gwen received a plethora of awards and honors. Her influence on Social Studies in Georgia will continue to be felt by teachers and educators for many years to come.
Gwen is survived by her husband of 68 years, Kermit Hutcheson; three daughters, Lynn Hutcheson, Wilma Hutcheson-Williams (Steve), and Kim Hutcheson Pruitt; two grandchildren, Kevin Pruitt (April); and Rebeccah Wall (Eric); eight great-grandchildren; her brothers Richard George (Velma) and David George (Margaret) both of Florida; and numerous nieces and nephews. She is pre-deceased by her parents, brothers William (Tommy) Thomas Norris, Jr. and Charles Ray Norris, and her sister, Rachel Norris Hawkins. The family wishes to thank April Ratcliff for her years of service and devotion to Gwen and Kermit. The family also recognizes the exceptional care of Compassionate Hospice Care and BrightStar Care.
A celebration of Gwen’s life will be held at the Fellowship Hall of Oconee Street United Methodist Church, 575 Oconee Street, Athens, Georgia on June 29, 2019 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Gwen’s name to the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Fund at Berry College at 2277 Martha Berry Hwy. NW, Mount Berry, Georgia 30149 or www.berry.edu/gift
Private Family burial will be at a later date.
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Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Fund at Berry College
2277 Martha Berry Highway NW, Mount Berry GA 30149