Gwendalyn Elise Botson

Published 11:57 am Thursday, March 7, 2024

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November 16, 2004 – March 2, 2024

Southern Shores, NC – Gwendalyn Elise Botson, 19, of Southern Shores, North Carolina, passed away at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Virginia on Saturday, March 2, 2024, after demonstrating tremendous courage, tenacity, and grace throughout the past two years.

Gwendalyn, or Gwen as she was known to many, was born on November 16, 2004, the daughter of Ross Benjamin Botson and Victoria Renee Botson.  She is survived by her older brother Ezekial Benjamin Botson and wife Jessie Botson and younger brother Logan Harrison Botson (aka) Booba, her beloved dog, Finnley Swell, and other family dogs and cat she loved dearly.

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After graduating from First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, and having been recruited and ultimately signing with Belmont Abbey College to play lacrosse, Gwendalyn achieved one of her primary goals when she began her freshman year in the fall of 2023 as a member of their women’s lacrosse team. She was a fierce competitor on the First Flight High School women’s lacrosse team, scoring numerous goals throughout her years, including, against all odds, her senior season, which she was determined to complete. She excelled in the classroom and was a member of multiple clubs in both school and the community, including competing in local surf contests and serving as an altar girl and substitute Catechist at Holy Redeemer by the Sea Catholic Church.

Gwendalyn had a tremendous sense of adventure and attacked learning new things with zeal.  She had a passion for spending time outdoors with a love for snowboarding, hiking, surfing, fishing, swimming, and anything else she could do to explore and embrace nature.  Her friends can attest to her steely determination, competitive spirit, and occasional laughter-filled hip check. She equally enjoyed her Zen moments, such as talking to her plants while tending her extensive garden or stopping in the moment to appreciate a glorious sunset.  She loved the earth, and it is clear the earth also loved and embraced her.

It is difficult to convey the depth of connection Gwen created with people.  Whether hanging at the pool, beach, or in her she-shed with her gaggle of buddies, she was always building relationships that were deep and real.   While her most treasured friends were her own age, she forged heartfelt relationships with countless others, including coaches, teammates, co-workers, her surf community, her friends’ mothers, neighbors, and everyone’s pet she ever encountered.  She was wise beyond her years, always attuned to the needs of others, whether checking in with a friend to be sure they were okay or texting her mom’s friends to please get her mom out of the house.  With her authentic and spunky character always shining through, Gwendalyn was a loyal friend and beautiful soul, displaying strength and courage through all her years.  Her fun-loving and irreplaceable spirit touched so many lives as a true example of a courageous warrior filled with grace, faith, humor, and a passion for life.

The family would like to thank their extended family and friends and the incredible Outer Banks community for all their prayers, love, and support over the last two years.  The way Gwen lived her life with incredible strength and grace was an inspiration to so many people.  Gwen’s village was equally a source of inspiration to Gwen and her family, continually reminding them they were not facing their trials alone.

Services to celebrate Gwendalyn’s life are scheduled as follows.

A wake will be held on March 21, 2024, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Holy Redeemer by the Sea Catholic Church, 301 W Kitty Hawk Rd, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949.

A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 11:00 am on March 23, 2024, at Holy Redeemer by the Sea Catholic Church by Rev. John A. Hanley, osfs. A procession to Southern Shores Cemetery (S. Dogwood Trl, Southern Shores, NC 27949) for a Catholic Rite of Committal will immediately follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made to the Gwendalyn Botson Fund, which may be made at any TowneBank on the Outer Banks or Grandy, via GoFundMe ( or Venmo (@rossbotson, last four digits for verification is 0997).

Twiford Funeral Homes, Outer Banks is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and memories may be shared at