Gwynne was born in Fort Smith to Elvis and LaVerne Robbins. She was the oldest of four children, with brothers four and eight years younger and a sister 17 years younger. Gwynne’s family were charter members of Wesley United Methodist Church in Fort Smith, and Gwynne was a very active member there until she graduated high school and went to college. She taught herself to play the organ and served as Wesley’s church organist throughout her high school years until leaving for college. Gwynne’s parents believed that if the church’s doors were unlocked, the family should be there, and they usually were.
Upon high school graduation, Gwynne attended Arkansas Tech in Russellville, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in business education and a minor in English. At Tech Gwynne was active in student government and served in her senior year as secretary of the Student Senate. In the spring of her sophomore year at Tech, while running in a student senate election, she met Mark, who was running for junior class president. They dated for the remainder of their college years but did not get married until one year after graduation. Upon graduation, Mark headed for the University of Nebraska at Omaha to obtain his Master’s degree in clinical psychology, and Gwynne secured her first teaching job at Waynesville High School in Waynesville, Missouri. Gwynne taught business subjects on the high school level that year and the couple kept the airways and telephone lines hot between there and Omaha that first year out of college.
Gwynne and Mark were married in May, 1970, and Gwynne moved to Omaha. She taught that year at a business college in Omaha while Mark finished his Master’s degree but didn’t enjoy it at all. Mark was a commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Army Medical Service Corps, having received a commission upon graduation as a Distinguished Military Graduate from Tech. When he finished his Master’s degree, he received orders to report to Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The couple moved to base housing in San Antonio, and Mark served as the Executive Officer of the Medical Holding Company at Brooke Army Medical Center. Their daughter Julie was born at Brooke in April, 1972.
After Mark’s two years of service at Fort Sam Houston where he was discharged as a Captain, he obtained a position with the Arkansas Department of Mental Retardation Development Disabilities Services. The young family moved to North Little Rock and bought their first house on Garland Avenue. Gwynne stayed at home with Julie, Scott arrived the following year, and the family was complete.
In 1976, the family moved to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where Mark enrolled at the University of Southern Mississippi to obtain his Ph.D. in clinical psychology. They subsequently moved to St. Louis for Mark’s one-year internship and then moved to Hot Springs where Mark was hired at a mental health center.
In July, 1983, Mark was hired by the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System in Little Rock/North Little Rock, and the family moved back to North Little Rock. They settled in and joined First United Methodist Church, and Gwynne and Mark joined the Builders Class. Almost immediately, Gwynne began to play the piano for the class, and she hasn’t stopped since. Gwynne has also served on the Administrative Board and the Endowment Committee of FUMC.
Through the years Gwynne became passionate about her career as a paralegal, worked herself up through the ranks, and became one of the first certified paralegals in Arkansas in 1989. She was active for many years in the Arkansas Association of Legal Assistants and served as its President in 1990. She worked at the Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard law firm as a probate/trusts/estates paralegal for seven and one-half years upon the family’s return to the Little Rock area. In 1990, Gwynne was hired by the Friday, Eldredge & Clark law firm, having been hired by the Managing Partner of the law firm who specialized in trusts/estates/probate. Gwynne continued working in her specialty and retired from the Friday Firm in 2012 after 22-1/2 years of service there.
In 1992, Gwynne organized the Investment Builders Partnership investment club and has served as either its chairman or secretary since its inception. Many of the Club’s 18 members are also members of the Builders Class. Gwynne does some volunteer work at Baptist Hospital NLR, Crestwood School and our church.
She loves to play bridge and thinks there is no such thing as playing too much bridge. She has a passion for good health, physical fitness and good nutrition, working out almost every day. She loves cooking and entertaining, traveling with Mark and spending as much time as possible with their granddaughters. She loves FUMC and the Builders Class and feels like the class is family to her and Mark.
Mark was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Ray and Marge Hinterthuer. Mark was the middle of three sons born to Ray and Marge within a four-year time period. The family lived in the Milwaukee area until the early 1950s, when they moved to Russellville where Mark’s mother was hired as a nurse anesthetist and subsequently also became the Director of Nurses.
Mark was active on youth baseball teams prior to his college years. He and his brothers loved all sorts of sports and were always busy swimming, riding bikes and playing ball. Since the boys were so close in age, their parents had their hands full! Mark attended and graduated from Catholic High School in Little Rock. While there, he boarded at St. John’s Seminary. Upon his high school graduation, he attended and graduated from Arkansas Tech with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. In college Mark was very active in intramural sports, honor societies and various clubs. He also enjoyed canoeing.
When Mark began his job at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, he worked as a clinical psychologist in the inpatient acute psychiatry unit and later in the outpatient Mental Health Clinic. His patients included many World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans, many of whom had post traumatic stress disorder. He helped develop a variety of treatment programs for veterans. He served as Training Director for the interns and eventually became the Chief Psychologist. Mark retired in 2013 from the VA. Through Mark’s membership in the American Psychological Association, he became a site visitor for reviewing APA-accredited internship programs at VA hospitals throughout the country. He continues in that capacity, and these visits determine whether a program will remain accredited by the APA. Through the APA, Mark received both the prestigious Heiser Award and a Special Presidential Citation for important contributions to the field of psychology.
Mark is an avid golfer and thinks that a golfer can’t play too much golf. His other interests include art, history, music and he is a huge collector of autographed pictures of famous and infamous politicians and other political paraphernalia.
Mark values the friendships he has made through the years in the Builders Class and like Gwynne, feels very comfortable in the class. Anyone who knows Mark knows that the apples of his eye, as well as Gwynne’s, are their two granddaughters. Their absolute favorite activity is spending as much time as possible with their granddaughters.