Gwen was born Sept. 3, 1925 at Boone to Walter and Ethel (Johnson) Carlson. She graduated from Boone High School in 1943.She graduated from Wheaton College near Chicago in 1947. During college, she stayed home for one year to care for her mother. She was married to Jack Bang in 1948.She taught in a one-room school in Iowa and went on to teach second grade for many years in Connecticut. As a family, they did a lot of boating on Long Island Sound and she not only enjoyed those outings she became quite a proficient at piloting and navigation. She has lived in Cherokee since 1975, working in the office at Cherokee Clinic for 16 years. She was married to Milton Halstrom in 1991 at the Oakdale Church. She was a member of the Oakdale Evangelical Free Church, the White Cross, Church Choir, Tone Circle, the Red Hat Society, and T.T.T.EZ. She enjoyed knitting and reading. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother Byron Carlson. She is survived by her husband Milton; one son Byron Bang and his wife Helen of Hilton Head Island, S.C.; a daughter Sally Volgamore and her husband Curtis of San Antonio, Texas; five grandchildren: Sarah Volgamore, Noah Volgamore, Dale Austin, Tracy Branham and Jennifer Driggers; six great-grandchildren: Hannah, Charity, John, Jared, Madison and Daniel; five step-children:Barbara Feenstra and her husband Nick of New Hampton; Helen Ames of Meriden; Bonnie Todd of Ida Grove; Dean Halstrom and his wife Diane of Meriden; Mary Sawin and her husband Daryl of Decorah; 10 step-grandchildren; nine step-great-grandchildren; a sister Patricia Wester and her husband Dale of Cherokee; a sister-in-law Lillian Carlson of North Oaks, Minn.