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Woodward County, Oklahoma

Elmwood Cemetery
Woodward. Oklahoma


Evelyn Ruth Weigand Whittaker

June 9, 1924 ~ August 29, 2020

© Alva Review Courier
Reprinted with permission

Submitted by: Ann Weber

Evelyn Ruth Whittaker (née Weigand), 96-year-old resident of Woodward and Alva, Oklahoma, passed Saturday, August 29, 2020, at home in Alva, Oklahoma. Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 5, 2020, at the Elmwood Cemetery in Woodward under the direction of the Billings Funeral home. Evelyn Ruth Whittaker was born on June 9, 1924, in Okeene, Oklahoma, to Fredrick Weigand and Amelia "Mollie" Weigand (nee Hein). She attended school until the eighth grade. After her father died, she left school to help her mother with her laundry business and to help look after her younger sisters.

She married Richard Linnus "Doc" Whittaker on November 15, 1942, while he was stationed at the Enid Army Air Base. She often told us the story of how he asked her to marry him on the first day they met, while he was on leave and visiting Okeene. For years, she worked to help her husband Doc in all of his business endeavors. She worked as an assistant to her husband at his chiropractic practice and she worked as a nurse assistant. She also worked with Doc in their beekeeping business. She extracted the honey from the honeycomb and jarred it. Later in life, she worked for her son Steve by running the cash register at the Woodward Golf Course pro shop. Finally, even though she claimed to dislike doing laundry due to having to do it as a child, she never did stop insisting on folding laundry for all her children and grandchildren whenever she would visit.

She was a member of the First Christian Church of Woodward and attended for years with her son Steve and his wife Avis and their extended family. With her husband, she spent summers traveling in an RV or travel trailer to Colorado, Texas, and other neighboring states. They enjoyed boating and fishing even though she couldn't swim. They also enjoyed going to antique car swap meets and Woodward Rodders meetings to spend time with friends.

We would always anticipate her arrival on holidays because she would bring her famous chicken and noodles (learned from her mother), mashed potatoes, and chocolate cream pie, and because we loved her. She taught her namesake great granddaughter Evelyn how to make that chocolate cream pie.

Later in life, she traveled with her daughter Bonnie to visit her grandchildren in California, Washington and Texas. She loved red roses and was thrilled to attend the Rose Parade in Pasadena and visit Butchart Gardens in British Columbia. She visited Alcatraz and attended a taping of one of her favorite shows, "The Price is Right." She put on snow skis in Winter Park, and she even flew by herself to Chicago to meet up with family to travel on to Ohio to watch her granddaughter Julie in a track meet.

She loved visiting with family in person, on the phone, and via video chat. Her face would light up whenever a family member would arrive after being a way for a while. She always made sure to tell you how glad she was that you were visiting her. She especially enjoyed staying with grandchildren who had little great grandchildren to visit. Whenever we teased her, she'd say "you little stinker, you aren't too big for me to spank your britches."

She always had funny stories to tell and would have any stranger laughing within an hour of meeting them. She often told one about her father asking her to blow the suds off the top of his home-brew beer bottles before he capped them. She ate the bubbles from the tops of 20 or more bottles and became just a bit tipsy. Her mother was not so happy with her father. She also told a story about hooking her car's bumper on the neighbors car while backing out of the driveway and then dragging it halfway down the block before she realized. After the death of her husband in 2005, she lived by herself at home in Woodward until the age of 94. She made good friends with her neighbors, including Lou Ann McVickers and Sue Williams. She looked forward to visits from family who brought her favorite coffee and foods every week. She usually spent holidays away with family.

After taking a few too many falls at home, she moved in with her daughter Bonnie and granddaughter Julie in Alva for the last two years. There, she loved sitting outside on the porch swing with family to watch the purple martins. While in Alva, she really looked forward to visits from her caregiver Heather Reed, her good friend Lou Ann McVicker, her grandchildren, her sons Steve and Richard and daughter Connie and their extended families, and her nephew Gary Elliott and his wife Debra. The whole extended family of 40+ people would get together to celebrate her big birthdays including her 80th, 85th, 90th, and 95th.

She also spent some time living with her son Richard and daughter-in-law Barbara.

She was a very strong woman. She had open-heart surgery around 1995, she survived breast cancer twice, and later in life she had to wear oxygen due to COPD. Still, she was quick to tell you that she was happy to be alive and to be able to spend time with her loved ones. We will miss her greatly.

She is survived by her sister, Loretta Jean Eliot (née Weigand) of Mesa, Arizona; her children Steve Whittaker of Woodward, Bonnie Garnett of Alva, Richard and Barbara Whittaker of Enid, and Connie and Joe Welch of Woodward; 11 grandchildren, Mike Whittaker, Michelle and Bruce Williamson, Melissa and Dr. Troy Sturgill (all of Woodward), John Garnett (of Issaquah, Washington), James Garnett and Brian Bartholomew (of New York City, New York), Jerry and Debbie Garnett (of Alva), Julie Wren (of Alva), Stephanie and Steve Jacobi (of Enid), Kyle and Shayla Whittaker (of Blair), Josh Welch and fiancée Amy Kornele (of Woodward), and Jason Welch (of Woodward); and 21 great-grandchildren, Whitley, Amelia, Gracen, John, Evelyn, Megan, Blake, Devry, Camryn, Baylor, Brielle, Madelyn, Jewel, Allison, Tucker, Whitley, Jillian, Gavin, Connor, Daylor and Tatum.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Whittaker; a daughter-in-law, Avis Whittaker (née Garnett); a son-in-law, Waldo "Dub" Garnett; her parents and her siblings Lillian, Clarence, Bertha, Harvey, Joseph, Herman, Alice, Le Roy and Juanita.

Memorials may be made to the Oklahoma Medical Research for Breast Cancer Foundation with the funeral home accepting the contributions.

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