Jewel Rowe Gilkes departed this life on April 22, 2023. Jewel was the youngest and only girl born to Frederick Douglas Rowe and Leora Simmons.
She united at an early age with Mt. Nebo AME Church in College Station, Arkansas and was always active wherever she was needed (worship, Sunday School, ACE League, singing in Choir, which was her passion or just representing her church.
Jewel attended College Station Jr. High school, then via bus attended J. C. Cook High School in Wrightsville, Arkansas, graduating and continued her educational journey at Arkansas Baptist College, Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1961 Jewel moved with her parents to Independence, Kansas. Job opportunities not being as available she moved to KC, Kansas with her Aunt Christine & Cousin Sister (Rose). Independent minded Jewel worked many jobs before deciding to apply at University of Kansas Medical Center. She excelled in every area of study and training starting as nurse aide, obtained the certification of completion, continued full time work in med surgery and rehab units.
She was encouraged to enroll in KU’s Practical Nurse Education classes which she completed, challenged Kansas Board and received her LPN, enrolled in the associate degree Program at Penn Valley Community College. Jewel’s dependable leadership skills led her to many areas and charge positions over the eighteen years of employment at KU. Due to the illness and incapacitation of her mother she became an Agency Staff Nurse which allowed her to make her own work schedules. Agency Staffing opened another chapter in her work history. She was sent out as agency staff nurse to cover staffing issues throughout Kansas and Missouri (private homes, LTC facilities, and hospital. Jewel’s strong dependable background led her to assignments at Marion Merrill Dow and Quintilles Pharmaceuticals as product safety and product data management specialist where she remained until those company departments were transferred out of KC.
After visiting many AME Churches within the KS & MO areas Jewel found her home in 1970 with Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church where she remained an active, faithful member. She served on Steward Board, Missionary Society, Lay Organization and, singing in the Choir (local and Conference). Jewel leaves to cherish her memories three children, Jane E. Burns, Freddie M. Gray (Thomas) and Armando L. Gilkes (Nicole), special son by another mother Eric R. Washington of Raytown, MO, special niece Peggy A. Kendall (Bob) of KCKS, 8 grands, Tiras, Ayana, Nikki, Terrence, Marion, Thomicas (Twan), Noel and Jada, 4Great grands SMiya, Anthony, Aysia, NaJee, and Amariah. Many Sister/Brother Cousins, and a host of relatives and friends.
Funeral Service will be held Wednesday, May 10, 2023, 11am at Watkins Heritage Chapel. Interment Forest Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be from 10am-11am at the chapel. Service conducted by Watkins Heritage Chapel. Condolences may share on our website.
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