Sharon "Gaynell" Durham was born on October 9, 1952 in McAlpin, West Virginia. She was the second born of seven siblings to the late John Carlen Lewis and Emily Geraldine Lewis. She peacefully departed this life on Sunday, January 17, 2021, in the comfort of her home, surrounded by her loved ones.
Gaynell completed her early elementary education in Beckley, West Virginia. After relocating to Dayton, Ohio, Gaynell graduated from Jefferson Township High School in 1970. She earned her Bachelors in Business Administration in 1974 from West Virginia State University and obtained her Masters in Guidance and Counseling from Tennessee State University in 1976. Gaynell continued her journey of professional development to ultimately obtain her License as a Professional Counselor. Her extensive knowledge and work performance elevated her to various positions of leadership during her professional career. Gaynell was a loyal, dedicated, and hardworking employee of Day-Mont Behavioral Health for over 33 years before becoming a Senior Licensed Community Case Manager with CareSource. Gaynell was a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Gaynell accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized in McAlpin, West Virginia. She was an active member of New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, where she served on the Usher Board and the Missionary Circle. She was passionate about being of service to others and spending time with her family. She loved her family unconditionally. Gaynell enjoyed connecting with her family on Thursday night Zoom sessions, watching Married at First Sight, and talking politics with her siblings. In her spare time, she enjoyed gardening with her friend, Carol and attending Special Olympic events in support of her son, Johnathan. She relished her annual visits to Beckley, West Virginia and attending Witten family reunions.
Gaynell was preceded in death by her parents, John and Emily "Geraldine" Lewis and sister, Linda Houston. She leaves to cherish her memory, loving and devoted children, Jerica (Wayne) Vann of Monroe, North Carolina and Johnathan Durham of Dayton, Ohio. Two sisters: Elva (Nigel) Lewis-Simpson of Plain City, Ohio and Lisa Lewis of Lorton, Virginia. Three brothers: Ralph (Brenda) Lewis of Upland, California, Rodney (Cheryl) Lewis of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Larry (Sandra) Lewis of Dayton, Ohio. Nieces: Capree Houston, Tracee Houston, Ariel Lewis, Ciondra Brown, Shayna Brown, and Lauren Walton. Nephews: Jeff Lewis and John C. Lewis; and a host of loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and special friends.
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