At the close of a beautiful Sunday evening, Elise Newton Whaley of Norman Oklahoma let go of our hands to clasp those of her loved ones in Heaven. She was born in Birmingham, Alabama on January 8, 1926 to Mortimer Solon and Olive Ann Whitehead.
From her father she learned the fulfillment of deep bible study and from her mother she saw modeled the strength of a good Christian woman. This grounding in a deep faith guided her through life’s challenges and carried her safely through her final journey to everlasting life.
Elise married Ira Franklin Whaley October 22, 1946 and moved to Santa Anna California where he was stationed with the Marine Corps. While there, she gave birth to two daughters, Addie Ann and Betty Jean. When transferred to Camp Le Jeune, Jacksonville, North Carolina, the couple had two more daughters Elsie Sue and Martha Ann. After retiring from the Marine Corps they settled and raised their girls in Haynesville, Louisiana where Elise was a faithful member of the Woodland Hills Church of Christ. It was here that she took both her mother-in-law, Addie Whaley, and her own mother into her home to care for them in their later life. It was also here that she made dear friends with whom she enjoyed many happy times sharing meals and playing cards and dominoes. After her husband passed away and she grew older, she moved to Camden, Arkansas where her daughter, Sue, lived. Near the end of her life she made her home in Norman Oklahoma near her youngest daughter Martha fulfilling this daughter’s dream of having her mother nearby. It was here that she continued her faithful Christian service as a member of the Westside Church of Christ.
Elise was a strong, smart woman who had many interests. She carried the life long love of her Alabama heritage and good football all the way to her joy in the Alabama Crimson Tide’s National Championship this year. She was a skilled seamstress accomplished also in knitting, crocheting and embroidery providing her daughters and friends with many beautiful handmade gifts. Also, she had a magical green thumb capable of burying the end of almost any limb or cutting directly into the soil confident it eventually would grow into a vibrant plant- and it usually did.
The biggest interest of Elise’s life though was no secret- her four daughters whom she loved greatly and spoke of fondly to all who would listen. She is survived by them, Addie Ann Wooddell (Joseph) of Waskom TX, Betty Jean Gage (Edwin) of Westerville OH, Elsie Sue O’Dell (Raymond) of Harmony Grove AR, and Martha Ann Bybee (Bill) of Norman OK. Also surviving are her nine beloved grandchildren, Chrisanne, Stephanie, T.J., Brian, Natalie, Brandi, Candice, Steven, and Laura. From these grandchildren she has 10 great children and one great-great grand child.
Elise is preceded in death and joins in heaven her father, mother, husband, sister Betty Heisler and brother Leo Johnson.
The family gratefully thanks Kathy Wilson, her friend and helper while in Camden and the many kindnesses and loving care provided by the staff at Grace Living Center, Norman Oklahoma and the Good Shepherd Hospice.
Funeral services are under the direction of Bailey Mortuary, Haynesville, Louisiana and Havenbrook Funeral Home, Norman Oklahoma. There will be a viewing at Bailey Mortuary 6:00-8:00 PM, Wednesday, July 4th and a funeral service at Woodland Hills Church of Christ in Haynesville, Louisiana at 10:00AM on July 5th with David Goff presiding. Burial will be at Shady Grove Cemetery also in Haynesville immediately after the funeral service.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Havenbrook Funeral Home. Online condolences may be shared at www.havenbrookfuneralhome.com
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea… Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted on earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Psalms 46
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