Josephine "Jo" LaFone Whitener

June 16, 1927July 3, 2018

Hickory-Josephine L. “Jo” Whitener, 91 of Hickory, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at Catawba Valley Medical Center. Born June 16, 1927 in Hickory, she was the daughter of late Lawrence Odell LaFone and Carrie Killian LaFone. Jo was a retired billing clerk with Sherrill Furniture and was a lifelong member of St. Stephens Lutheran Church, Mo Synod. Jo shared her time and talents in many ways at St. Stephens and serving as a member of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League gave her great joy. In addition to her parents, Jo was preceded in death by her husband Clyde P. Whitener, sisters, Hazel Hallman and Sadie Sherrill; brothers Ezra LaFone, Foy LaFone, Glenn LaFone and Fred LaFone, infant brother Buford LaFone; son-in-law Benjy Wheeler and an infant granddaughter Carrie Wheeler. Survivors include her daughter Pat Walsh of Hickory, son Rev. Dr. Phil Whitener, wife Mary of Melbourne, FL, daughter Pam Wheeler of Hickory; grandchildren Jason Walsh, wife Catherine of Raleigh, Benjamin Wheeler and fiancé Kristen Love of Hickory, Joshua Whitener of Cape Canaveral, FL, Caroline Thompson of St. Johns FL,; great granddaughter Payton Thompson, numerous beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. The family will receive friends from 11:00 am to 11:45 am, Saturday, July 14, 2018 at St. Stephens Lutheran Church Mo Synod. A Memorial Service will begin at 12, noon, followed by a graveside service with Reverend Dave Guelzow and Reverend David Ziehr officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be sent to St. Stephens LWML, or St. Stephens Lutheran School Endowment Fund, 2304 Springs Road NE, Hickory, NC 28601.


  • St. Stephens LWML or St. Stephens Lutheran School Endowment Fund


  • VISITATION Saturday, July 14, 2018
  • MEMORIAL SERVICE Saturday, July 14, 2018
  • INURNMENT Saturday, July 14, 2018

Josephine "Jo" LaFone Whitener

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Paulette Huffman

July 15, 2018

So sorry I was unable to attend the memorial service for Jo. I have many fond memories of working with her at Sherrill's and our Red Hat club. What a great lady she was and we shared many laughs. Please accept my sincere condolences. Prayers for all.

Regina Eckard Hux

July 15, 2018

Lovely lady! Hugs and prayers to you Pat, Phil, and Pam.

Melissa Hefner

July 9, 2018

I had the pleasure of working with Jo at Sherrills. She trained me and I will never forget her. She would come and visit us from time to time. I miss her but she will forever be in our hearts.

Kimberly Sipe

July 9, 2018

Family of Jo Whitener, I am so sorry for your loss of your precious mother, grandmother. We attended the late service on Sundays with your mom. Jo was very special to me and the sweetest lady I know. I appreciated the 'hugs' and smiles and the friendship she gave to me after service each week. I will truly miss her. My sincerest sympathy upon your loss of your precious loved one.

Martha Propst

July 6, 2018

Sorry to hear about Jo. ..I know that she and Mom are causing a ruckus in Heaven. ...they have a lot to catch up on. May God be with you during this time as you adjust to her being in heaven and not here. ...she is enjoying being reunited with your Dad. .he is probably asking her what took her so long to get to this beautiful place. Martha

Becky Kirby

July 6, 2018

Pat, Phil and Pam
Was so sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet mom. We had some great times and wonderful memories of growing up across the street from you guys .
May all the wonderful memories that will live forever in your heart help you through this difficult time.
You are in my thoughts and prayers