Gwendolyn Rayburn Abshire
Gwendolyn Rayburn Abshire, 57, of Clear Lake, passed from this life to the next peacefully on May 26, 2021, after a 7-year battle with cancer. She was born October 3, 1963, to Barbara Ann Craigen Rayburn and William Noel Rayburn. She graduated from Hamshire-Fannett High School in 1982 and went on to graduate from Texas A&M University (Whoop!) with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration.
Upon graduating, Gwen worked in management for Pepsi Corporation for 9 years. After starting a family, Gwen owned and operated a successful business on Lake Sam Rayburn for more than 20 years. She later earned her teaching degree in Mathematics from Lamar University and taught at her alma mater Hamshire-Fannett High School and at Brookeland ISD.
Gwen then leveraged her business and education experience at Responsive Education Solutions, a charter school company, rising from campus director to superintendent and then regional director of operations for the Greater Houston/East Texas region.
Gwen was most known as a servant leader who was honest to a fault. She was a hard worker and no task was too small or too great. From shampooing classroom carpets and hauling a horse trailer of classroom furniture between campuses to opening 8 new schools and overseeing every aspect of 13, Gwen was never afraid to get the job done.
Amongst family, Gwen was the favorite aunt, sister and daughter who cheered her great-niece on at every swim meet, reorganized everyone’s kitchen cabinets for fun and was always up for playing cards. Her Thanksgiving parties at Sam Rayburn Lake were the highlight of everyone’s annual holiday plans and featured a never-ending campfire and enough gumbo to feed an army for an entire weekend.
Gwen’s fondest memories from her childhood included camping trips with family, involvement in all school sports and activities possible, and summers at FCA camp in Colorado. As a mother, her dearest moments included hunting Easter eggs with her daughter Brooke, painting rocks with her daughter Traci, and spending long nights at horse shows with her daughters. During her final year, Gwen enjoyed an RV camping trip across the U.S., sitting on the back porch watching deer and taking care of her plants, rooting her two favorite NFL teams to the Super Bowl and coddling her baby deer, Elfie.
Gwen is preceded in death by her father, William Noel Rayburn; brother, Kyle Rayburn; sister, Traci Rayburn Hampton; and grandparents, Joe and Melba Craigen and Jesse Juber and Lucille Rayburn.
Survivors include her two beautiful daughters, Jacqueline Brooke Dodd and Traci Ann Abshire of Clear Lake; stepdaughters, Amanda Williams and Jessica Abshire of Louisiana; mother, Barbara Ann Rayburn of Angleton; sister, Janice Ann Constantine and her husband, Joe, of Angleton; nieces and nephews, David Constantine of Austin; Jennifer Fort and husband, Jon, of Lake Jackson; Jay Rayburn and wife, Morgan, of Winnie; Lana Nelius and husband, Russell, of Winnie; Dean Cravy and wife, Heather, of Hamshire; and Jack Cravy and wife, Erica, of Hamshire. She is also survived by 10 great-nieces/nephews.
A gathering of Ms. Abshire’s family and friends will from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Friday, May 28, 2021, at Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. Her funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, May 29, 2021, at First Baptist Church, 25304 Highway 124, Hamshire, with a celebration luncheon of Gwen’s life to follow. A private graveside service will be held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont.
Please observe social distancing guidelines. By attending any public event you are acknowledging the risk of exposure to the Corona Virus. Please follow the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control: cdc.gov.
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
Forest Lawn Memorial Park
- 4955 pine st beaumont tx 77703
- 25304 highway 124 hamshire tx 77622
- 11:00 am
Gathering of Family and Friends
Gathering of Family and Friends
- 1605 n. major drive beaumont tx 77713
- 12:19 am
I am so very sorry to hear of Gwen’s passing. I had the privilege of coaching Gwen at Hamshire Fannett. She was such a joy. She was a beautiful young lady with a beautiful spirit. My prayers are with her family during this difficult time. May God hold you in his arms Gwen.
Curtis Labby Oldest Cousin
In loving memory of mu special cousin Gwen. Soo proud of her, her life, accomplishments and LOVING spirit. A Great woman, sister, daughter, wife, mother, cousin
The Thomas Dearbonne Family
We are so very sorry to hear of Gwens passing! She was a beautiful lady and sweet! I pray for all of her family. RIP Gwen!
Miss Barbara, Janice, sorry for your loss
Sheila M Sachitano
So sorry for your loss. I enjoyed knowing Gwen both as a student and as a colleague.
I worked with Gwen for many years at Responsive Ed and she was truly a servant leader. As a matter of fact, she DID clean my rug for me one year I think. :) She was a CHAMPION for teachers and students, and I will always remember and appreciate her kind and encouraging words to me. I am saddened by the news of her passing. My prayers are with her family.
Mary Ann Duncan
Gwen was a dear friend and colleague. that I met when I began working at ResponsiveEd. Gwen touched many lives and always sought to make the world a better place for the students she served. She will be greatly missed. Angels about her always.
Gwen was an incredibly strong person with a heart of gold. She had such passion and infectious energy when you were around her. Thank you Gwen for all you taught me and for helping me to be the person I am today. The world is a better place thanks to you!
Lynda Robinson & Family
My condolences to the Rayburn family. Rest in peace my dear friend and know how much I will always cherish our time together.
I know it is a sad loss for Gwen's family, but I know Mrs. Lucille Rayburn is dancing a jib as she reunites with her granddaughter!
Alvin & Alice Simon
Barbara and family, we are so saddened to hear about Gwen's passing. Prayers for you and the family. RIP Gwen.
kathy barefield champagne and Mary barefield
she was a great boss to work for when she had the store in san augsten park .sorry for yalls loss she will be missed
I am so sorry to see this I loved Gwen we grew up together may you fly high with the angels I will always love and remember you.
My deepest sympathy to the family. I was hired by Gwen with Responsive Education Solutions and truly enjoyed her presence. She would always bring her smile to work and with such an upbeat spirit. When it came to getting lunch , her favorite place was Taco Bell. We would eat that on a daily basis lol. I will truly miss her. My prayers are with you all.