Gwendolyn Betts Wingate

Published 10:35 am Monday, June 28, 2021

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Gwendolyn Betts Wingate

June 25, 2021

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Gwendolyn Betts Wingate, 89, of Climax, Ga., passed away Friday, June 25, 2021.


The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at Climax Baptist Church with Pastor Steve Poppell and Pastor Steve Brooks officiating. Interment will follow at Franklin Baptist Church Cemetery with Bruce King, Tyler Beaty, Eric Betts, Joey Thomas, Keith Harrison and Brant Harrell serving as active pallbearers.

The family will receive friends at Climax Baptist Church on Monday, June 28, 2021, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Online visitors may sign the guest register at Memorial donations may be made to: Climax Baptist Church, P. O. Box 37, Climax, GA 39834; or Franklin Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 189 Robin Lane, Bainbridge, GA 39819.

Gwendolyn Betts was born on October 17, 1931, in Chattahoochee, Fla., to the late Ausmus Outler “Gunner” Betts and Sybil Blair Betts. She was a graduate of Climax High School and received her college degree in nursing. She retired as a registered nurse from the State of Florida Dept of Corrections. On May 15, 1998, she married James E. “Dutch” Wingate and a lifetime of adventure began. Gwen was a devoted member of Climax Baptist Church holding the title of “Oldest Vacation Bible School Worker”.

Gwen, better known as GaGa to the grandchildren she adored, had a servant’s heart. She spent her days living out her testimony of service to others in her church and community. Gwen was a member of Senior Ladies Sunday School Class, Golden Agers, Climax Community Club, and WOM. She traveled to all of the Lower 48 states, worked on mission trips, and volunteered at Swine Time, the Ham & Egg Supper, and Judgement House. Her most famous role was “Minnie Pearl” in the Climax Grand Ole Opry. Gwen loved family gatherings especially if fried fish were involved. She made sure Sunday dinner was a regular occasion with chicken & mushroom gravy followed by apple pie. She had no desire for recognition and her humble spirit allowed her to bless others with no strings attached. GaGa bragged on her children and grands and was most excited about Baby Beaty set to arrive in December.

Survivors include her husband of 23 years, James E. “Dutch” Wingate of Climax; her children, Nina & Roger McMillan of Climax, Bruce & Kay King of Sneads, Fla., Sherry & Billy Wheat of Callahan, Fla.; her grandchildren, Justin Williams, Blair Williams, Abigail & Tyler Beaty, Ben & Melissa King, Gretchen & Jonathan Pipping, Valorie & Danny Beam, Melanie Willis, Theodore W. “Ted” Whitford III, and Dawn Whitford; her great-grandchildren, Charity King, Josh King, Sierra Kinsinger, Kayla Willis, Jason Wheat, Madison Bradley, and baby Beaty on the way; her sisters, Joyce Ware of Climax, Jean Fuller Dollar and her husband, Wayne, of Moultrie, Ga.; and a host of nieces, nephews and extended family. Gwen was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Ausmus Betts and infant Ralph Betts; and her daughter, Bonnie Whitford.

Max Bryant and the staff of Clark Funeral Home are assisting the family with arrangements.

Guests may sign the online register at