West Baltimore activist Gwen Shelton can be described in many ways, but this April photo best captures her determination to see justice on behalf of the community. On the occasion of her death, Dec. 2, family and friends began to post on her Facebook page – thanks for support, thanks for encouragement, thanks for just being there.

“Ms. Shelton was West Baltimore,” Council Nick Mosby posted. “She fought to her last breath to ensure that Easterwood was a safe haven for the men, women and children that live in the community.”

Even her son, Kibwe, and granddaughter Ikea, were surprised at the many people touched by Gwen’s life. Such a great outpouring was expected that two services were held, one on a day when the city was shut down in anticipation of snow.

She had showed up hundreds of times on behalf of the homeless, those re-entering society after incarceration, the disenfranchised. And hundreds showed up at Union Baptist Church in West Baltimore to celebrate a life well lived for the greater good of the community.