Gwen Shirk Cockrell

June 15, 1950 ‒ March 17, 2020

Fredericktown, Ohio

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FREDERICKTOWN: Gwen Shirk Cockrell, age 69, of Fredericktown passed away Tuesday morning, March 17, 2020 in her home surrounded by her loved ones.

She was born June 15, 1950 in Galion, to Loren and Geraldine (Morse) Shirk.

Gwen worked at Hi-Lo trailers where she met Gene Cockrell.  They were married March 19, 1987 and would have celebrated their 33rd anniversary this week.

Gwen also worked at Merillat Cabinets, and drove a newspaper route for the News Journal.

Innovative and creative, she saw the need for a new business venture starting her own shuttle business long before Uber or Lyft.  Serving primarily the Mt. Vernon community, she drove students, business executives or anyone who found themselves in need of a ride.

Gwen was truly an outdoors woman.  She loved spending time caring for her rural Knox county property, even if it involved a chainsaw.  She loved the trees, birds and all of God’s creation.  Her constant fur baby Freckles by her side as she tended her chicken coop, and enjoyed hiking, fishing and camping.

When it came to the house, Gwen was always dreaming up big ideas and taking home improvement into  her own hands.  A gallon of paint or a new piece of furniture was not her idea of change, more likely was blowing out a wall, moving the window or changing the entire layout!

She and Gene loved to travel, particularly to the west coast.  On their excursions she collected stones which always found a way into her suitcase and into a glass jar in her home as a constant reminder of their adventures.

Strong and independent, her stubborn streak served her well as Gwen was never afraid to take on a challenge and no one could get in her way.

Surviving is her beloved husband Gene Cockrell of Fredericktown, children James Crowner, Gerald and Denice Crowner and Allison and Chris Kitsmiller; grandchildren Burke, Garrett and Carson Crowner and Elaina and Jensen Kitsmiller; great grandbabies Emeree and Grayson; siblings Donna and Murrel Francis, Loren and Gwen Shirk, David and Ann Shirk, Marvin and Julie Shirk, and Doug and Rosemary Shirk; mother-in-law Neta Cockrell, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Claudia Burkett and Mike Motto, David and Sabrina Cockrell, Connie and Paul Jones, Bill and Corinne Cockrell, and Tina Cockrell and Tony Serio; along with many nieces and nephews and extended family.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a daughter Judy Crowner, granddaughter Ashely Crowner, brother Jeff Shirk and her father-in-law Charles Cockrell.

A quiet family memorial will be held at the family home with public memorial services to be announced at a later date.     Memorial contributions in her memory may be made to the Friendship Animal Protection League of Lorain County or the Ohio Bird Sanctuary through the funeral home.

The Bellville Snyder Funeral Homes is serving the family and encourage friends and family to check our website for updates and service announcements.

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  • Gene and family – Jr. and I were shocked and saddened to learn of Gwen’s passing. We are so very sorry. Please know we will be praying that the Lord will be with you during this very difficult time. Jr. and Sheryl Hawk

  • So sorry for you loss Gene. This was quite a shock and Gary and I wish you the best at this very difficult time. Our prayers are with you always.

  • Our prayers are for all of Gwen’s family. Gene, we are thinking of you and your family. Cherish your memories, share them with one another. May God be with you.

  • My condolences to James, Gene, Gerald, Denice, Allison and families. I’m going to miss this woman dearly. She was always my chatting buddy for whatever James talked us into helping with. We shared many laughs and I’m so very sorry for your loss.

    Missi and family

  • I am truly sorry to hear about Gwen. For so many years she was like a second mother to me. My condolences to all of her family.

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