Gwendolyn Jenkin was born to the late James Bernice Baskett and Dorothy Mae Baskett on January 9, 1952 at Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital in New York City. She was raised in New York City and spent her summers helping to raise her cousins in Springfield, Massachusetts.
She was educated at Central Commercial High School where she graduated with best friends Pinky and Terry in 1970. Immediately following graduation, she began her career at the office of Vocational Rehabilitation (later renamed VESID). She soon after married Vincent Gregory Edwards, and from that union their daughter Nichole M. Edwards was born in 1974.
Gwen lived in the Bronx for about two years before returning Harlem’s Carver Projects. In 1979, Gwen met and later married the late Charles “Buddah” Jenkins. From that union their son Charles “Chuckie” Jenkins, Jr. was born in October of 1980.
Gwen continued her life in Harlem and moved to Esplanade Gardens in 1984. She continued her career with NYS VESID until she retired in 2011. She then dedicated her life to first handedly caring for her mother, as well as her children and grandchildren and simply being everyone’s “Nana”.
Gwen enjoyed her days daily shopping and hanging with her friend Naomi, frequent trips to Atlantic City and Maryland, weekly workouts in the park and Jazz concerts by the Pier. Gwen just had a way about her that would make any room brighter. She’d walk in and all eyes lit up. She was truly beautiful inside and out. She personified sweetness, compassion, kindness and gentleness. She overly loved her family and was openly obsessed with her grandchildren. She always made sure everyone felt special and supported and loved unconditionally.
Gwen was a spiritual person and always openly professed her love for the Lord. She was a devoted and faithful member of Bethel Gospel Assembly and attended regularly until the Pandemic of 2020. Gwen was a true warrior. Stricken with Covid on August 15, she fought hard for six weeks straight until her body could fight no more. On Sunday, October 3, 2021 she triumphantly transitioned from this life at Harlem Hospital Center, surrounded by her loving children.
Gwendolyn was preceded by her father James Baskett, her mother Dorothy Mae Baskett, her brother Franklin Baskett and her husband, Charles Jenkins, Sr. She leaves to cherish her memory: one daughter, Nichole Edwards-Johnson (husband and dedicated son-in-law Travron Johnson); one son, Charles R. Jenkins, Jr. (LaQueema Campbell) of New York, New York; bonus daughter, Yvonne Jenkins-McLurkin of Bowie, Maryland; granddaughters: Chanel Edwards, Brielle Edwards and Tranae Johnson of New York, New York; bonus granddaughters: LaQuan Hamill, Lanasjah Campbell and Khloe Perry; sister/cousins: Karen Watson of Maryland and Tracey Thomas of Springfield; sister-in-love, Cynthia Scarborough; uncles: Jesse Baskett of Maryland and Gregory Alston (Celeste Alston) of New Jersey; aunts Celestine Charles of New Jersey and Gladys Baskett of Maryland; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.