Gwendolyn Denise King was born to Claude King and the late Hattie Bernice King on February 3, 1963 in Newark, New Jersey. Gwen left this earthly tabernacle to live in the eternal heavens on November 20, 2020.
Gwen’s early education was in the Newark school system. While in high school she was an honor student and active in extracurricular activities. Gwen was a Rifle Twirler and Miss Swimsuit 1981 pageant winner. After graduating from high school Gwen was the first to attend college at the Penn State University where she graduated in 1986 with distinction and a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Administration. Gwen later married Malik El-Amin (1987) and from this union two beautiful children were born.
Following college Gwen worked a short while at Muhlenberg Medical Center before eventually pursuing her life’s career in Elementary Education, K-8. She loved teaching and giving back to her community. Most recently, Gwen had big dreams to start a non-profit educational enrichment program called “Pearls Palace” where she would focus on children left behind in the Camden School system. She started this work on a shoestring budget and was passionate about providing tutoring and safe afterschool and weekend space for a few students that she was mentoring. Ms. King, as she was affectionately known in her community, believed that it takes a village to raise a child and was passionate about enriching her community.
Outside of her educational pursuits, Gwen loved spending time with family. She often enjoyed extended stays with her grandchildren, nieces and nephews and enjoyed trips to North Carolina. Gwen never lost her quick wit and sense of humor that she got from her mother – Hattie. She had an infectious laugh, always shared a smile and knew how to lighten a moment. She was wicked smart and liked to share stories of family history and memories. She was popular amongst her many cousins, loved to dance, tell jokes and enjoyed a good time.
Gwen is predeceased by her mother Hattie Bernice King, her brother Patrick Claude King and her special friend, Joe. She leaves to cherish her memory; her father, Claude E. King (Cornelia); her son, Mallik Surah El-Amin, her daughter, Madinah Janay El-Amin, three grandchildren, Mahad El-Amin, Noah Clayton, Mallaki El-Amin; Siblings: Christopher King (Annette), Muletta Hayes (James), Lakeisha Henry (Ewan), Shawn King, Deirdre King, Jeffrey King and a host of family and friends.
She will be greatly missed. Rest in Peace Nip.
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