I’m excited to share that I’m fundraising for the 2022 NYC Marathon in partnership with the non-profit organization, Minding Your Min
About Minding Your Mind: At Minding Your Mind, we create experiences that open minds and show people they are not alone when they are struggling. Our group of young adult speakers, who have successfully and productively coped with their mental health challenges, share their stories of hope, recovery, and resilience. We use the power of storytelling to provide evidence-based education about mental health challenges in schools, communities, and workplaces. We encourage youth to seek help, and we ensure that those around them are effectively prepared to provide that help. These are stories and experiences with the power to inspire others to take action to help themselves, their peers, and others.
Gwen Czura: (December 12, 1960 - January 31, 2022) Albuquerque, New Mexico - Gwen Maren Richards Czura was born in Redwood City, California on December 12, 1960 and passed away peacefully on January 31, 2022 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She attended Albuquerque Academy in New Mexico where she was the runner-up in the state spelling bee of New Mexico at 11 years old. She then attended Oxford High School in Oxford, England. Gwen graduated from Stanford University in three years with honors and majored in international relations. Gwen received her Master's degree at Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She received the Rotary Club scholarship to attend the University of Capetown in South Africa. She also achieved a perfect score on the Law School Aptitude Test (LSAT).
During her extensive living abroad, Gwen learned to speak four languages fluently. Gwen was a journalist at The Island Packet newspaper on Hilton Head Island, SC for many years where she enjoyed working alongside her fellow colleagues, David Lauderdale and the editor Fran Smith. David remembers Gwen as "a sweet spirit who was a hard-working, valuable member of our newsroom." Gwen also served for a short time as editor of Hilton Head Monthly Magazine under publisher Lori Goodrich Cribb, who has fond memories of Gwen, noting: "She was a fabulous writer and added so much great content to our magazine. Her smile was infectious, and she was an extremely kind person, as well as a wonderful mother who loved her children so much."
One of Gwen's greatest joys was singing. She sang in the St. Luke's Episcopal Church choir and performed solos at the church. She especially enjoyed the midnight services at Christmas. Gwen was also a classically trained pianist who could play a variety of genres; she relished playing her own rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen.
A certified Pilates teacher, Gwen was also an accomplished long-distance runner and ran marathons. She rode a bicycle across the Florida panhandle with her father, Dr. Peter Richards, all the way to Hilton Head Island, SC. Gwen was also an accomplished snow skier who enjoyed skiing in the Rocky Mountains. She also had a celebrity lookalike in the actress Andie MacDowell and graciously accepted the mistaken identity.
Gwen was a devoted mother to her three daughters, Elizabeth (Elle) Murphy Czura, Lane Cassity Czura, and Maren Morgan Veronica Czura, and to Walter Murphy Czura, the father of their three children.
Gwen instilled in her daughters a "joie de vivre", unbridled curiosity for the beauty of the world, a love of literature, music, travel, long-distance running, and ayurvedic cooking.
Per her request, Gwen's remains will be scattered at Mt. Shasta, California, Wheeler Peak, New Mexico, and Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina. Gwen was predeceased by her father, Dr. Peter Richards of Salem, OR. She is survived by her mother, Bette Edith Richards, her brother Alec Richards and his wife Wanda, her sister Winifred Marie Richards, her three daughters Elizabeth Murphy Czura (30, Charleston, SC), Lane Cassity Czura (28, New York, NY), Maren Morgan Veronica Czura (23, New York, NY), as well as her two beloved cats, Niko and Oscar.