Merle Gwendolyn “Gwen” Streight, 90, of Nampa, passed to her eternal reward on June 26, 2019 at a Nampa hospital. Gwen was born on Feb. 11, 1929 in Oskaloosa, Iowa to Rev. Frank and Fae Stinnette, the only girl and second of four children. Her parents pastored in Idaho and Colorado, and for a time in the 1930s Frank functioned as business manager for Northwest Nazarene College.
Upon graduating from high school, Gwen returned to NNC to attend college, where she majored in art and became an accomplished life-long landscape artist. There she met Dean Galloway, a war veteran, who had a call to ministry. But, Gwen would not agree to marry him because he did not have her matching call to the mission field. As the story goes, Dean decided to ask the Lord if he could also have a call to missions, by holing up in the Chapel, praying and fasting for three days. The Lord agreed, and then Gwen agreed, and they married in Montrose, Colorado on Dec. 19 1949. Dean and Gwen pastored Nazarene churches in New Plymouth, ID and Baker, OR in preparation for assignment to the mission field. During that time, Ronald was born and the Galloways were assigned to India. Believing that visas would be coming any day, they resigned the church in Baker and moved back to Nampa, into the former president's home on the NNC campus now known as the Alumni House.
Visas to India were not forthcoming, so the missions department asked if they would be willing to go to Nicaragua. They responded that they would, then went to find a world map to see where Nicaragua is located. They arrived in Managua, Nicaragua in June of 1953 knowing two words of Spanish, "si" and "adios." They attended "language school" for a little over a year, but realized that they would never learn from the teacher they had, because he would always start over every time a new student enrolled. They were assigned to Jinotepe to co-pastor a church with a Nicaraguan pastor. Dean would spend 40 hours each week digging out a sermon, using an English/Spanish dictionary and then preach it in 20 minutes on Sunday. Gwen contracted Malaria and had Gwenette during their time there. During the 18 years on the Nicaragua field, they moved to a new assignment and different home 17 times. Gwen did not complain and fulfilled roles as district secretary, district treasurer, Bible Institute teacher, Sunday school teacher, pastor's spouse, home school teacher for her children, and prayer warrior.
In 1971, Hot Springs First Church of the Nazarene called them to pastor on the So Arkansas District. Four years later the denomination called on them to move to Bogota, Colombia to pioneer the work of the Church of the Nazarene. A few months later, they were joined by the Samuel Ovandos. Gwen worked in a supporting role as they simultaneously opened and cared for 13 churches and preaching points, holding weekly Bible studies in Bogota, Cali, Cartagena, and Barranquilla. Their ministry abruptly ended in 1977 when Dean was called home to Heaven.
Widowed at 48, but still having a call to missions, she was assigned by the Church to San Antonio, Texas to work at the Spanish American Seminary as a teacher of music and typing classes. A couple of years later Dr. Raymond McClung, former D.S. of the Houston District, having lost his wife, proposed and they married. During their lives together, Gwen served in several District, and local church roles and a short stint with Raymond to New Zealand. She also participated on work and witness trips, including one to the Azores. One of the special outcomes of their mariage was the expansion of her family, as the McClung tribe welcomed her as a step-mother and step-grandmother. Gwen tried over the years to keep in touch with them by phone up through the month she passed.
After Raymond passed in 1996, Gwen moved back to Nampa, where she had many fond memories dating back to childhood and college days. Two of her best college friends, Merle Burkhart and Edith McBride, also moved back to Nampa. In 2000 she married for a third time. LaVerne Streight and Gwen made a great couple. They sang in an old timers choir, served as volunteers on NNU’s campus, traveled together to Scandinavia, visited family and received many in their home. They were generous with their financial resources, sponsoring scholarships at NNU, giving special offerings to College Church, supporting the building fund, and helping family and friends in their educational pursuits. In keeping with her earlier calling, they also gave to the Jesus Film.
Upon LaVerne's passing this past December, she felt a void, a lack of direction for her life. She started praying that God give her a purpose for her last days on earth. The morning of the day she passed, she said that God had answered her prayer. She reported that she had been given the opportunity to communicate the claims of the Gospel to family and health care givers. She had ellicited promises from most of them that she would see them in Heaven.
It is hard to not promise a dying grandmother that she would see them again! What a way to pass into the presence of God.Gwen died peacefully, singing, laughing, quoting scripture, and praying for her family and friends, modeling the manner a Christian saint should pass.
This section of the obiturary is difficult to write, there are so many to mention. Please forgive omissions, just know that the family she expects will join her in heaven is very large and scattered. Too many to mention have passed on before her. She is survived by a brother, Paul Stinnette, and by immediate members of the Galloway family; Children: Ronald (Judy) Galloway, Gwenette (David) Bryant; grandchildren: Rebecca (Rick) Rossow, Clint (Jennifer) Bryant, John (Ashley) Galloway, Courtney (Jonathan) Runyan, 5 great-grand children, and one great-great-grand child. She is also survived by McClung family step-children Faith Kline , Ruth Ann (Kent) Moore, and Gilbert (Jane) McClung, plus several grandchildren. The Streight family step-children are David (Joy) Streight, Julia (Doug) Bloomquist, Karen (Keith) Horwood, plus many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A viewing will be held on Thursday, July 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Nampa Funeral Home, A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 12 at 2 p.m. at College Church in Nampa, idaho. Gifts may be sent in lieu of flowers to Jesus Film to Jesus Film Project, P.O. Box 628222, Orland, FL 32862. A private burial will be held in Ft. Collins, Colorado on July 15th, where she will be laid to rest beside Dean and her parents.