Alice passed from this earth April 5, 2017, from cancer. Alice Joy Wilhite was born Oct. 2, 1930, to Ed and Cora Unger in Corwith, Iowa. Alice was one of four children born to this couple. She attended all 12 grades at the Corwith School graduating at the top of her class. During high school Alice participated in basketball, school plays, and music. After graduation she attended one semester of business school.
On Sept. 29, 1950, Alice was united in marriage to Bob Wilhite at the First Baptist Church in Russell. They were married for 65 years until the death of Bob. Bob and Alice lived in Des Moines for the first five years of their marriage. During those five years Alice worked for the telephone company as an operator. In 1955 they moved to a farm in Wayne County, Iowa.
Because of her childhood during the Great Depression, Alice learned to save everything and use everything twice and save it for the next time... just in case. She sewed clothes for the family and crocheted Afghans for those she loved.
Although Alice grew up attending church she didn't trust Christ as her Savior until she was about 32 years of age. She had heard the gospel preached during a Sunday sermon and later that week made the decision to believe and receive the Bible plan of salvation. Even though saved, the battle of the flesh continued. The sharp tongue and pointed pencil were not always used in kindness.
Alongside Bob, Alice instilled a good work ethic in all her children. Cleaning the house, washing the clothes, cooking the meals were all part of her weekly duties. Alice's summer job included tractor driving with a baler and hayrack behind on the steep hills of the farm. She walked through the bean field to pull weeds and cut thistles from the pastures to help while Bob was working his job. In addition to her work on the farm, Alice drove a school bus for the Russell Community School District.
Amidst the work, Alice found time for the fun side of life. She taught her children four-part harmony around the piano. Baseballs were hit in the front yard. Basketballs were shot in the hay shed. Bikes were ridden up and down the gravel road. On some clear nights, Alice would take outside any of the children willing for the adventure to search the skies for falling stars.
Alice found time when the children were young to help them memorize many Bible verses and read them Bible stories.
She will be greatly missed by her children, Cathy Burkland of Unionville, Jerry and Deborah Wilhite of South Africa and Terry and Sharon Wilhite of Russell; sister, Goldie Fett of Nora Springs; brother, Jimmy Unger of Elizabethtown, Ky.; 22 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren and many nephews and nieces.
Alice was blessed with many friends, good neighbors and the church family of Grace Baptist in Chariton.
Alice was preceded in death by her parents, Ed and Cora Unger; husband of 65 years, Bob Wilhite; son, Rick Wilhite; brother, Hugh Unger and brother-in-law, Bill Fett.
Funeral services were held April 8 the Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Chariton.
Interment will follow at the Confidence Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Chariton Grace Baptist Church Missionary Fund.