Mary's Story

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TAHLEQUAH – Funeral services for Mary Louise Garner-Whittle will be held on Tuesday, May 12, at 10 a.m. at the National Cemetery in Fort Gibson, with Pastor Jay Cook of Northside Baptist Church officiating. Visitation will be held on Monday, May 11, from noon until 5 p.m. at the Reed-Culver Chapel. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.reedculver. com. Mary Louise Whittle was born on March 31, 1929, in Tulsa, the daughter of Virgil H. and Louise (McGowan) Garner. She grew up in a household with seven siblings, Virgil, Thomas, Jerry, Richard, Barbara, Lynda, and Sharon. Following W.W.II, she met and married her best friend, Elmer Whittle on Dec. 18, 1947, in Fayetteville, Ark. This union was blessed with two sons, Jimmie Dale and Larry, and lasted until Elmer’s death in November of 2000. They began their married life in Dodge City, Kan., then relocated to Hermosa Beach, Calif. While Elmer worked and played in the Western Swing bands of the day, Mary worked as a line supervisor for TRW Aeronautics. In 1984, Mary and her family returned to the Tahlequah area to live. Elmer continued playing music and together they attended the Elks Club, VFW, and American Legion. Mary and Elmer loved to travel, and spent their winters in Yuma, Ariz., returning when the winter had passed. They were faithful members of the Senior Citizens Friday Night Sing, and Mary was also a proud member of the Red Hat Society. Mary enjoyed any chance they had to gather with the family to share a holiday meal and a cup of coffee. She adored her grandchildren and loved to share time with Chris, Scott, Tria, and James. A Christian by faith, Mary was Baptist and attended Northside Baptist Church. Her health began to fail her and Mary passed from this life on Thursday, May 7, 2015, at Cherokee County Nursing Center. She was 86 years old. She will be greatly missed for her smile, and the love she showed all her family and friends. Mary is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Elmer; one son, Jimmie Dale; four brothers, Virgil, Thomas, Jerry and Richard Garner; and one sister, Barbara Oberle. Those left to cherish her memory include one son, Larry Whittle of Muskogee; her grandsons, Chris Whittle and Scott Whittle both of Muskogee, and James Whittle of Oakland, Calif.; and granddaughter, Tria Shashe of Tulsa. Her legacy lives on in her four great-grandchildren, Ricky Dorler, Dillon Dorler, Naomi Whittle and Ava Grace Whittle; and one great-great-grandson, Daigon Dorler; two sisters, Lynda Hudson and husband Harvey of Wagoner, and Sharon Gibson and husband Bill of Tahlequah; and her two sisters-in-law, Rita Garner and Emma Garner of Tahlequah; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of friends and loved ones. Reed-Culver Funeral Home, 117 W. Delaware, 918-456-2551.
Published on  May 11, 2015
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