Mary Whitehouse

Obituary of Mary Watts Whitehouse

Mary Elizabeth Watts Whitehouse Elizabeth Whitehouse, educator, mother and grandmother, died at her home on Thursday, January 4 at the age of 91. The daughter of Thomas Gordon and Elizabeth Watts and oldest of five girls, she was raised in Bryan, Texas. Some of her fondest memories were of twice yearly trips to Houston where she and her sisters chose the patterns and fabrics for their seasonal wardrobe that they would then spend weeks sewing. Her young life was filled with dances at Texas A&M, piano lessons taught to her by her mother, singing at church and dreaming of going to university to become a teacher. In 1938, she graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. in English and stayed on to complete her Masters in English in 1941. Elizabeth's teaching career as an English professor began at Sullins College continued at Queens College and led her to Lynchburg and Randolph-Macon Women's College in 1946. Throughout her college and working years, she was a soprano soloist and pianist for numerous churches. She sang as the soloist at First Presbyterian Church under Bernard Williamson and was in great demand throughout Lynchburg. She met and married Frank Whitehouse in 1948 and her next career as wife, mother and grandmother began. While raising five children, she was an active member of First Presbyterian Church, the Fine Arts Center and the Lynchburg Woman's Club. Her lifelong interest in history guided her to serve many years as board member and chair of the Atkinson Museum, Hampden-Sydney College. Her dedication to the welfare and education of children called her to serve on the board of trustees for Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Plantations. Her active involvement in her children's interests ranged from playing piano accompaniment for the E.C. Glass High School choir to giving the blessing of the hounds for the Bedford County Hunt. Elizabeth's lovely smile, happy disposition, intelligence and beautiful blue eyes will be remembered by all who knew her. Her love for hats with matching accessories will live on in her daughter and granddaughters. Her greatest legacy was in assuring that her children and grandchildren knew they were adored. Predeceased by her daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, she will live in the memories of her husband Frank, children (and grandchildren) Frank and Donna Richardson Whitehouse (Ben and Bennett) of Lynchburg, Thomas and Jenifer Bacon Whitehouse (Sarah Jane and Abigail Catherine) of Stanford, KY, Catherine and Richard Greene (Sean, Anna and David) of Lynchburg and Robert and Sophie Desprez Whitehouse (Alexandre and Eve) of North Reading. MA. She is also survived by two sisters, Sarah Watts of Bryan, TX and Virginia Watts Baker of Haddonfield, NJ. To truly honor Elizabeth's life, put on your hat and gloves, joyfully sing, go to lunch with your best friend and take an afternoon nap. Memorial contributions may be made to the Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Plantation, PO Box 1398, Brookneal, VA 24528 or The Lynchburg Academy of Fine Arts, 600 Main Street, Lynchburg, VA 24504. The family will receive friends from 2-4 pm at Diuguid Wiggington Chapel, 811 Wiggington Road. A celebration of Elizabeth's life will be held at 11:30 am on Monday, January 7 in First Presbyterian Church with the Revs. Walter Smith and Megan Farwell officiating. A private interment at Spring Hill Cemetery will follow the memorial service. Diuguid Funeral Service-Wiggington Chapel (385-8900) is serving the family. On-line condolences may be sent to Final revision 1/4/08
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