Billie Frances Gardner Whaley passed peacefully to her heavenly reward on December 6, 2019 at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City in the presence of her family. A current resident of the Touchmark Community in Edmond, Frances made her home in Cleveland, Oklahoma for almost fifty years. She was the only child of William R. Gardner and Bessie (Smith) Gardner arriving May 18, 1931 in Tuskahoma, Oklahoma.
A graduate of Antlers High School, “Billie Frances”, as she was known to the Antlers community, attended Paris Junior College and the Oklahoma College for Women before graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a teaching certificate in 1954. She married a young Marine lieutenant and the love of her life, Orb W. Whaley, Jr. on July 4, 1951 and then made their home in Washington, DC where he was first stationed. The couple lived in Oklahoma City for several years after her graduation from college where she was a teacher at Nichols Hills Elementary. During their stay in OKC, sons Michael and Steven were born. After residing in Wichita, Kansas, where son Phillip was born, the family moved to Cleveland, Oklahoma in 1967.
Frances taught in the Cleveland Schools system for many years as a fourth-grade teacher before finishing her career at Westside Elementary as the elementary school principal. She retired as the principal after overseeing the construction and move to Cleveland’s new elementary school. As a follower of Christ, she was active in the Cleveland First United Methodist church serving on many committees while being the church pianist/organist. She was an active member of the Alpha Zeta Chapter of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority.
Her favorite time involved anything associated with family. She enjoyed traveling the globe with her husband, especially to London, following her sons in their endeavors playing and coaching sports and being involved in anything associated with her six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was the ultimate caregiver to her parents and her husband. Following Orb’s death in 2014, she moved to the Touchmark Community in Edmond.
She is survived by her three sons; Michael and wife Peggy of Blanchard, Steven and wife Callie of Cave Springs, Arkansas and Phillip and wife Ashton of Edmond; grandchildren Mary (Whaley) Braggs, Ashleigh (Whaley) Allman, Mayo Whaley, Michael Whaley, Cooper Whaley, Harper Whaley, great granddaughter Avereigh Braggs and a number of nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Orb and her parents, Bill and Bess Gardner.
A celebration of her life will take place at 2 pm on December 12 at the Chapman-Black Funeral Home in Cleveland, Oklahoma. Burial will be at the Old Towne Cemetery in Tuskahoma on Sunday, December 15 at noon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her name to any children’s charity of choice or the Gideons International, PO Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214-0800.
© 2019 (Chapman-Black Funeral Home, Inc.)
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This obituary is a work protected under international and federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reproduction, distribution or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this compiled work may be reproduced, altered or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author.
The author hereby grants the newspaper the right to publish the compiled work on the dates and location provided in the submission details and further grants to the newspaper the right to reproduce the work electronically in any website or digital medium owned or controlled by the newspaper provided the copy is not altered or modified in any way. The funeral home's website domain must accompany any reproduction of the work. The work must not be used for or by any person for direct commercialized gain in competition with the author, the funeral home, or their respective businesses.
The information contained in this Tribute Wall is intended solely for the private use of the families and friends of the deceased to support each other and honour, respect and pay tribute to the memory of the deceased.
Any and all other use is strictly prohibited. Without limiting the foregoing, any reproduction, distribution of the information contained herein, nor any contact or solicitation of any person identified in this work, nor any attempt to use the information in the work is prohibited.