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Gwen is a Miracle
Gwen Ann Brockbank Gunn passed away unexpectedly on April 4, 2023 at the tender age of 24 from a pulmonary embolism. Gwen was born October 9, 1998 in Murray, Utah to Harold Grant and Lori Ann Prince Brockbank. She is the youngest of six children and the only daughter. She grew up in Murray where she attended school, was an excellent student, and was honored as the Salutatorian of the Class of 2017. Following high school, Gwen attended Brigham Young University. She graduated in December 2022 with her B.S. in Family Sciences/Human Development.
When Gwen was 14, she was diagnosed with idiopathic aplastic anemia. She underwent chemotherapy, experienced multiple hospitalizations, received a bone marrow transplant and quarantined at home for a year. Despite these challenges, Gwen was full of optimism, always smiling and looking for ways to lift and help others. She befriended other patients at Primary Children’s Hospital and would send messages of love, inspiration and encouragement. She remained friends with many of the staff and was able to work with them during her Child Life Practicum this year.
After her own experience of battling a medical illness as a teenager, Gwen always had a special place in her heart for other kids facing childhood disease. She was blessed with countless incredible experiences through Make-A-Wish as a Wish Kid and Wish Granter and always went out of her way to help, support, encourage and inspire others.
Gwen’s eternally optimistic outlook on life was rooted in her love for and faith in Jesus Christ. She loved to share Christ’s light with everyone through a kind word, a smile, a hug, a handmade gift, a thoughtful card, a heartfelt message or a paper rose. Gwen served as a Spanish speaking missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Maryland Baltimore Mission from January 2018 to July 2019. She loved her mission and everyone she interacted with or served alongside. Beyond her missionary service, Gwen was a true disciple who attracted others to Christ through her example. She was a friend to everyone, especially those who felt excluded or alone.
While Make-A-Wish helped Gwen become a princess for a day as a teenager, her fairytale dreams became reality when she met her real-life prince charming in July 2021. Gwen married Ryan LaMarr Gunn on June 18, 2022 in the Bountiful Utah Temple. Once Ryan came into Gwen’s life, her infectious smile and the light she always shared became even brighter. In their nine short months of marriage, they created many joyful memories together and made each other better. Gwen was a light and Ryan truly amplified her light. She was always looking to brighten the day of everyone around her with her happiness and positivity.
Gwen is survived by her adoring husband, Ryan; loving parents, Harold & Lori; and devoted siblings, Benjamin (Alyse), Bryan (Sarah), Brandon (Whitney), Bradley (Caelan) and Blake (Kaylee). She will be missed by “her babies” (nieces and nephews): McKenzie, Caleb, Brynlee, Wesley, Samuel, Lukas, Spencer, Sienna, Hazel, Maverick, Khloe, Madelyn and Porter. She also leaves behind Ryan’s parents, Trent & Yvette Gunn; Ryan’s siblings, Kayzlee (Jason Jensen), Alexandra (Kyle Ash) and Zachary (Mekenna) Gunn; along with many aunts, uncles and cousins. Gwen was preceded in death by her nephew Shad Gabriel Brockbank who we know is now saying like the rest of her nieces and nephews that “Gwennie is my favorite!”
Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. at the Murray Little Cottonwood Stake Center, 6180 South Glen Oaks Street, Murray, Utah, with a viewing from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. There will be a viewing on Friday April 14, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the same location. Interment at Larkin Sunset Lawn Cemetery. For those desiring to view the recorded service, please click on the blue "Watch Services" tab above.
Gwen always said that she was a miracle, and everyone agrees that knowing her and spending time with her truly was a miracle.
Sending love and sympathy. So very sorry for your loss for all of you. May God help comfort your heart. Xoxo
I am so sorry for your loss. This is a very difficult time. Thankfully we have the promise of being reunited someday. In the meantime, hug your loved ones tight!
My heart grieves at your loss. Gwen is a bright light, and bright lights are needed today not only by families but also by the world in which we live. May God bless you with the peace, warmth, and comfort that will bring healing for the association taken from you.
We miss Gwen so much already! She really is a light, and we’ll bask in it until we meet again. We’ll love her forever!!
Our hearts ache for each of you--Gwen's beloved family. No words we speak or write could possibly comfort or console as we so desperately wish they could. However, the pronouncement that "He Is Risen," our Savior and Redeemer, surely provide solace, peace, hope, and even happiness at this time of temporary separation. We know that your faith in Jesus Christ will bless, comfort, and sustain you in the days ahead. You are in our thoughts and our prayers. May God bless each and every one of you!
With sympathy and love,
Rick, Sandra, and Sean Thueson
She will be missed by all. Even though I knew her such a short time, my love goes out to my nephew and her family. My heart felt condolences toall the family.
To Ryan, Gwen's parents, her brothers, and sisters-in-law:
Gwen was our office manager in the BYU Comparative Arts and Letters Department. She was the light of our office. From the first day, she made a special point of getting to know everyone personally. She brought us cookies, laughed with us, joked with us, befriended the student secretaries, and was a truly magnificent "captain" of our department. It is hard to believe she only worked in that capacity for a few months. She completed her responsibilities with finesse, efficiency, and solved even the most perplexing problems with infectious good humor and cheerfulness. We loved her dearly, but that love was initiated by her goodness and kindness. To paraphrase the scriptural account of Christ's love, "we loved her because she first loved us." We are broken in heart, stunned, and terribly anguished at her sudden passing. I have thought of her frequently during this Holy Week and Easter, and I hope that, just as the grief of Christ's disciples turned into amazed rejoicing on Easter Sunday, all of you will feel hope and "peace that passeth understanding" until you see Gwen again. I am certain that she is filled with light and joy in paradise and that she will look down on and watch over the many, many people she loved until reunited with them.
Our hearts ache for all those who were blessed to have known Gwen. Sadly we didn’t have a chance to get to know her better. It sounds like she was a special spirit. We send our condolences and love. You all are in our prayers.
With much love,
David, Heather and Megan West
I have only known Gwen a few short months. I am one of the BYU faculty members she served so ably while she worked for our department. She was an absolute delight to have around. She was always willing to help, to smile, to laugh, to lift. She often had a bowl of candy at her desk, which she would willingly share...provided you could tell her a joke. I did not always have a joke in mind, but she would settle for a funny "meme." I found myself searching for jokes and memes to share with Gwen, not to get candy, but just to hear that infectious laugh. She simply shone with goodness and light, and I will miss her. May God bless everyone of her family members with comfort and hope. I am profoundly sorry for your loss.
Lori and Harold I am not able to be at the service for Gwen in person but I will be with you in spirit and in prayer I know all your boys are gathered around you and like myself when I lost Jerry I embraced that love around me as I walked the path of grief I love you and will continue to pray for your hearts to gradually heal God bless you all
I am so sorry for your loss
Dear Brockbank family ,I am so sorry for your heartbreaking loss of Gwen. Please know you’re in my thoughts and prayers. Take good care.
Love, Laura and Darrin Crapo
Gwen was a beacon of care and kindness. During the time we were in the same Ward at BYU, she frequently extended thoughtful invitations that allowed me to develop connections in an otherwise lonely time. I regret that I never expressed my gratitude to Gwen for the light that she was in my life. I pray that God's light will in turn shine upon her, and that His grace will be with all those who grieve her passing.
Harold and Lori ,
Our hearts are so heavy right now with the loss of your beautiful Gwen. She is so blessed to have you two as her mortal and eternal parents. I know this girl of yours brought you so much joy. She accomplished and loved so much in her short life.
God bless you both during this difficult time.
Love you both! Jim and Vikki
We are gone camping for 5 days . So sad we will miss seeing you and the funeral.
Gwen was my mission companion in the Mexico MTC. I remember meeting her for the first time and thinking, "This sister is pure love." We shared many joyful moments, but also shared many tears. It was hard learning Spanish, but I think I can say for both of us that we were happy to be learning it together. I admired her resilience and love for the Gospel. She inspired me to grow closer to the Savior and to be a diligent journaler! I loved her and can't imagine the heartache of her close friends and family. She was and is truly a light.
we send our empathy, brotherhood and heartfelt love to you and your family at this time.
Gwen was my roommate right after my mission and was such a great example. She was always happy and positive. I remember she liked to ask everyone what their special talent was and she would share her cute gift of making paper roses. Miss you Gwen, and sending much love and prayers to your family at this time.
Dear Lori and Harold,
I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter and can only imagine the sorrow that your family and the Gunn family must be feeling.
My good friend died around Thanksgiving of last year. One morning I was thinking about her and wondering if she was happy. She appeared to me and had such an expression of surprise, happiness, thrilled, community, fun and excitement that it caught me off guard. It broadens my idea of Reverence and Spirituality.
To me this means that death is still sorrowful but I’m happy to know that they and we are going to a place where we lose nothing good from earth life but retain it in it’s heavenly state.
I'm just so shocked right now! I'm a BYU professor and Gwen was in one of my classes and then my research assistant for a few semesters. She was a wonderful student and a wonderful human being. Always a bright light and quick with a smile, she lifted the team to a higher level. I will miss her very much.
Gwen served part of her mission in our Martinsburg Ward in West Virginia. She was a wonderful missionary and she and my wife loved speaking Spanish together. We have 3 of Sister Brockbank’s roses we have kept in our hutch. We send our deepest condolences to her husband and family.
We were so saddened when we heard of Gwen’s passing. Our hearts and prayers go out to you during this difficult time. Gwen was one of a kind, who came from a one of a kind family. We love you
I am so sorry to hear of this sudden loss.
We had the opportunity to work with Gwen when I was the ward mission leader in Martinsburg WV. She was an extraordinary missionary that truly exemplified Christlike love. We were blessed to have her serve in our area.
We have not been able to stop thinking about Gwen and Ryan since hearing news of her passing. We have been praying for all of Gwen's family and wishing we could do more to ease the pain. We hope you know how glad we are that we got to get to know her in this life. She truly left this world so much better than she found it.
I am sooo sorry for your loss. She was such a sweet girl.
Gwen changed my life. I admired her strength and never ending smile. I may have been her teacher for a few years but it was Gwen that taught me so much. My prayers go out to her husband and family.
Gwen was one of my students at Murray High School, serving the community on the Peer Leadership Team. She has always been an example of serving others unselfishly and with the love of Christ. May we all learn from her example of what true goodness and love for others can accomplish, even in a short lifetime. With much love to her family for sharing her with all of us.
Dear Harold and Lori, I am so sorry about the passing of your dear Gwen. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this very tender time. May you have the peace that comes only from our Savior. Love you, Kathleen Pinnock
What a really lovely and uplifting service for such a beautiful soul. Much love to you all!
My love, feelings and prayers with you. Our Heavenly Father gives you hope and console in this time. She was a blessing for many people, now she will continue blessing the life of other
I'm so sorry for your loss. I still remember when Gwen was born. She was a choice spirit who always exemplified and emulated the Savior! She will be missed, but the Lord has a new work for her to do. Our prayers are with you all during this difficult time.
No words for you and your sweet family .❤️. Gwen has definitely made her mark in many peoples lives. Sending lots of hugs. Xxoo
Words fail to express my sorrow for your loss. It has been some time since I had last spoken to Gwen, but she remains a brilliant light in memory—unfailingly kind, intelligent, considerate, compassionate, and sincere. I wish those close to her strength and comfort during this time.
Watched Gwen’s funeral today on Zoom. The family participation was tender and sweet I know Gwen was a very special spirit. To know her was to love her. She was very kind to me. I’m still crying.
We will miss Gwen very much. Her cheerfulness and good humor were a delight. She made a special point of writing up a silly joke daily for display in the BYU office where she worked, and one of the things I enjoyed most about this is that she always chose jokes that were not hurtful or demeaning in any way. This small thing said much to me about Gwen's loveable character.
Gwen is such a Christ-centered, service oriented, happy, optimistic daughter of God. I can't find the words to express how sad I am for the whole family that she is no longer with us in person. She will make an incredible guardian angel!! I will be praying for your family during this difficult transition adjusting to life without Gwen. We love your family and Gwen! love, the Hanson Family (Jeff, Jami and kids)