Local artist, shelter director mourned

Gwyn LaCrone shows one of her paintings.

Gwyn LaCrone is being remembered for her love of art and her love of others.

LaCrone, an artist and former shelter director for Women in Safe Home, died Saturday. She was 84.

"She was so warm and welcoming," said Muskogee Art Guild President Becky Lucht. "She was willing to sit down with anybody no matter what level you were at and coach you.

Lucht said many members credited LaCrone for inspiring them to join the guild. LaCrone also served on the guild's board for a long time.

"Some of the people who loved her the most would be children. She always taught the summer camp," Lucht said. "She would go to such lengths to prepare for her classes."

LaCrone showed her love of art and support for abused women almost until the day she died, said WISH Executive Director Evelyn Hibbs. 

"Two or three weeks ago, before she got sick, she did an art class with the shelter women," Hibbs said. "She taught them how to paint. They said they loved it."

LaCrone was the WISH shelter director for at least 12 years, Hibbs said. 

"She retired twice, but I talked her into coming back," Hibbs said. "The women and kids loved her because she interacted, and she was so compassionate. She would get more services for them and help them become more independent. She was just the type of person who cared for people, and there was nothing phony about it. It was just her."

LaCrone also helped at the Whitlock WISH House, often painting banners and Christmas decorations, Hibbs said.

Hibbs said "practically everything in my house she has painted, from fruit to pictures, to doing wallpaper, my armoire."

Services for LaCrone will be 10 a.m. Thursday at Oasis Community Church, 800 W. Peak Blvd. 

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