Getting to know Gwynne Chastain

Gwynne Chastain was born in San Diego, Calif., in 1942. She lived there for one year before her parents returned to her mother’s home in Dona Ana, N.M. Her father received his teaching degree there and later enlisted into the Army Air Corp. They moved to Alamogordo, N.M., where Gwynne attended primary school. From there, the family moved to Albuquerque, N.M., and lived there for a few years before her father was recalled into the Army Air Corp. to serve during the Korean conflict.

Gwynne and her family moved around the country to several states and to Germany, where she lived for four years before returning to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. She graduated from Choctawhatchee High School, located in Ft. Walton, Fla.

Shortly after graduation, she met her future husband, Walter Evan Chastain from Pickens. He was stationed at Eglin Air Base. They dated for a short time before marrying in 1960. They have two daughters, two sons, 17 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Gwynne and Evan moved to Laramie, Wyo., in 1964, where Evan studied electrical engineering at the University of Wyoming.

neighborThey enjoyed camping at Yellowstone National Park during school breaks and snow-skiing on weekends. Upon receiving his master’s degree in 1968, Evan and Gwynne moved to Warner Robins, Ga., where Evan continued his Air Force career.

Carol Baker/Courier After stints living in places all over the map with her father and husband’s military careers, Gwynne Chastain now calls Pickens home.

In 1972, Evan was transferred to Panama City, Fla., and four years later he was transferred to Eglin Air Force Base. While they lived there, Gwynne entered Okaloosa Walton Junior College, where she studied business and creative writing. She was the editor of her college newspaper while a student. She was suggested for “Who’s Who in America Junior College” before graduating in 1978 with an associate’s degree. The following year, they were living in Orlando, Fla., where Evan was stationed at McCoy Air Force Base.

Gwynne enrolled in the University of Central Florida. She wrote for the college paper there as she studied creative writing and journalism. Their next move was back to Eglin Air Force Base. From there, they moved to Dayton, Ohio. Her husband served in the Air Force for 25 years before retiring in 1986. After his retirement, they moved to Atlanta, Ga., where Evan worked at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. After his retirement in 2000, they moved to Pickens and built a home near Table Rock off Highway 11.

Gwynne is multi-talented. She renewed her artistic abilities and took classes in watercolor at the Pickens County Museum. She paints in acrylic, oil and watercolor. She also plays the dulcimer, but after suffering a stroke she was unable to play it. She is striving to regain her ability to play again.

Gwynne and Evan are members of Holly Springs Baptist Church. Evan sings in the choir. Gwynne wrote for the church newspaper until the church discontinued having the news printed.

Easley resident Carol Baker highlights interesting local residents and helps us get to know more about the fascinating people who call Pickens County home. If you have someone somewhere who you think people should know about, contact us at