Gwendolyn June Prisbrey

Gwen was born, Gwendolyn June Kern, on August 25, 1937 to Mable and William Kern in Denver Colorado. She grew up in Riverside, CA, and Henderson, NV. She passed away peacefully at home on May 8, 2020 with her husband, Garry, her son, Brian, and the Hospice Nurse, Kristy by her side.

She graduated from Henderson High School in 1955. She met Garry Prisbrey at a local 1950s Drive In. Garry caught her eye, in a classic 1952 Chevy Coupe. She married Garry Prisbrey on August 5, 1955.

She was a city girl. She loved to shop. She had a handbag and matching shoes for every dress. She was a very classy Lady.

In 1970, they moved to Washington, Utah. Gwen transformed and blossomed into a true Country Girl. She learned how to plant a garden, can and bottle her crops, take care of cows, horses, goats, sheep, dogs, and everything else that came home with Garry and the kids. She learned to bake bread, pies, and every country meal imaginable. There was no such thing as leftover food. It was “Planned” overs. There wasn’t anything she didn’t try. “Can’t” was not in her vocabulary, at all! She gave this country life everything she had and she mastered it with grace and style.

Gwen raised her children with a strong hand, and a kind loving heart. Garry worked out of town and she was the glue that held everything together. She loved her children and they knew it, but she was not about to let them run over her and get away without doing their chores. She had a paddle and she wasn’t afraid to use it if needed. She never said, “Wait until your dad gets home” to get a little correcting. She took care of everything at the time. Nothing was left until later.

Gwen took a furniture refinishing class from Montrue Larkin at Dixie College about 50 years ago. Gwen became the master teacher and when the class ended at Dixie College, she kept a group of “Strippers” going right up to her passing. She didn’t just refinish a piece of furniture, she restored it to its original beauty. She was known for taking old broken dressers, chairs, an organ, tables, etc., in boxes full of pieces and repairing and fixing every detail even down to patching the veneer. Every piece of furniture that she restored was a “Master Piece.” She took great pride in all her work. I think her favorite gift from her children was tools, steel wool, and a can of stripper.

Gwen’s talents didn’t begin or end with refinishing furniture. She was an amazing seamstress. She sewed all the Halloween costumes and clothing that couldn’t be purchased…and they were professionally done. You could not tell they were homemade.

Gwen made many (hundreds) of Bears and Dolls, both out of wood, material, and old fur coats. She put joints in the legs and arms, and you would never guess they were homemade either. Everything she made was with precise perfection.

Gwen had an eye for decorating. She loved the Country Sample Magazine. She could see a picture and create what she saw…she had a saying: “just like that, only different.” What we saw was “just like that, only better.” Gwen never got bored. She always had a “New” pattern to try out. She loved keeping busy and creating things.

Of all the things she accomplished and learned in her life, her greatest joy was her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She encouraged them to always be doing something. You can accomplish anything you put your mind to, save money, and spend time with family. Family gathering were very important to her. She was always fussing about trying to feed everyone and make sure they were taken care of. She was an amazing Grandmother. She played on her hands and knees constantly with her grandchildren making forts, reading books, playing dolls, sewing, cooking with them, and doing “whatever” they wanted to do. She gave them her undivided attention when they were with her.

Gwen was always prepared to drop what she had planned to take care of her family. We could call, and at a moment’s notice, she was there to save the day.

Gwen was Garry’s right hand. She was always by his side helping with every project he was doing; fetching a tool, holding this or that in place while he fastened or repaired, running for supplies, and keeping a cold drink close by.

Gwen is survived by her husband of 64 years, children: Becky & Kevin Whitney, Brian & Sarah Prisbrey, Bruce & Nanette Prisbrey, Brenda & Chris Veit, 7 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren and one on the way.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Mabel and Bill Kern, baby girl Peggy, her Mother and Father in law, LaRue & Harold Prisbrey, and Grandma & Grandpa Prisbrey, Susan & Hyrum Prisbrey.

Due to the Covid19, there will not be a funeral at this time. We will have a celebration of life at a later date.

We would like to thank the staff at Sun Tree Home Health & Hospice. Especially, Christy, Laura, Ronnie, and Tricia.

A Private Family Graveside Service will be on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 11:00a.m. in the Washington City Cemetery. There will be a family visitation prior to services from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. at Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 South Bluff Street, St. George, Utah 84770.

Arrangements under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S Bluff St., St. George, Utah, (435) 673-2454. Family and friends are invited to sign her online guestbook at



9:30-10:30 am

Second Visitation




11:00 a.m.
Washington City Cemetery
300 Park View Dr,
Washington, UT 84780

Guest Book

10 Responses

  1. We loved Gwen! She was so kind, talented and generous in sharing her many talents! Our love is with your family at this time.

  2. I have so many great memories of Gwen. Two of my favorite, 1) she took my sister and my mom with her and some of her kids, most likely Becky and Brenda to look for new school clothes. It was a treat to go with them because I got to see what Becky would pick out, knowing she would hand it down to me, I loved Becky’s style, she was cool.

    I remember being home sick from school one day and my mom had to go to work. So Gwen let me come over. I thought I heard her say she wanted to take the frost covers off her tomatoes, so Brenda and I went to work thinking we were helping until Gwen saw us and chased us out of her garden.

    Ok one more memory she was always making or doing something. I remember collecting broken bits of glass that she later created a nice picture that hung in grandma Larue’s house.

    Thank you Aunt Gwen for your love and example. May you know rest. With heartfelt love, Louise

  3. Our love and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.
    All our Love,
    Brent, Staci and Family

  4. Dear Prisbrey’s: So sorry to hear of Gwen’s passing. She was quite the lady, with lots of talents. We were neighbors for 35 years. Marilyn and Ed Swiderski

  5. She was my favorite Aunt ! I didn’t find out later that she wasn’t really my Aunt. She will always have that title to me! She was an amazing woman! With Love, Leslie ( Drew ) Rivera

  6. Sorry to hear of the passing of this special lady and friend. Love to her family and especially her sweet husband. May you each know of my love.

  7. Brian sorry to hear about your Mom. Tell Bruce and Brenda to keep smiling. Give my regards to your Dad.

  8. My love and support go to your family. I didn’t know her, but am a friend of Becky and know she was a wonderful Mother to raise such a beautiful daughter.

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