Lafadie Belle Dickerson Whittico

Published 10:42 pm Friday, July 15, 2011

Lafadie Belle Dickerson Whittico was born Nov. 7, 1911, in Clanton, Ala. and passed away on July 6, 2011, in Middletown, Conn. She was the second of three girls born to Frank Dickerson and Mamie Dorse Dickerson.

Showing a great potential for learning, she graduated as the salutatorian of her high school class in 1929. Desiring a career in the medical field, Lafadie Belle Dickerson Whittico attended Meharry Medical College in the field of nursing. She obtained her degree as a registered nurse in 1933.


After successfully passing nursing board exams for several states, Mrs. Whittico was employed for two years as a surgical nurse at Hampton Institute in Hampton, Va.  She then went to West Virginia to work as a nurse at the State Colored Tuberculosis Sanitarium, later known as Denmar Sanitarium.  In 1938 she moved to Williamson, W.Va. to work at Williamson Hospital. She was the first African-American registered nurse in the Williamson area. Along with her hospital work, she taught home nursing and volunteered with the American Red Cross during World War II. Lafadie Belle Dickerson met Dr. James M. Whittico, a practicing physician in Williamson, and they were married in 1939. She helped him in his practice and in the drug store owned by them, which provided services to the community for many years. At the time of her retirement in 1987, Mrs. Whittico had been employed for 16 years by the Child and Family Program of Huntington, W.Va., which served the Head Start Program.

Lafadie Belle Dickerson Whittico lived a beautiful life and was the recipient of numerous honors and recognitions. She was a member of St. James A.M.E. Church, where she was at one time a member of the choir and a trustee. Her interest and participation in all phases of community activities account for the numerous memberships she held in professional, civic and social organizations for many years. She also gave freely of her time and service to the youth of the community. She was an outstanding member of the West Virginia State and the National Medical Associations, sororities and social groups. She served as president of the Williamson, W.Va. branch of the NAACP for eight years and was a charter member and organizer of the Alpha Kappa Chapter of the Eta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated in 1970. Mrs. Whittico was a member of the Huntington W.Va. Chapter of the Links,

Incorporated for over forty years and held the distinguished honor of platinum membership. She was also a member of the Evening Tide Chapter #26 Order of the Eastern Star for many years. Her father and mother, husband and two sisters preceded Mrs. Whittico in death. Her survivors include a son, Dr. Mathew T. Whittico and daughter-in-law, Dr. Rebecca Boyd Whittico; and grandsons, Thomas Hazen Whittico of East Lyme, Conn., James Malachi Brown of Springfield, Mass. and William Jeffrey Whittico of Seattle, Wash.; and stepchildren, Dr. James M. Whittico Jr. and family of St. Louis, Mo., Mrs. Barbara Bishop and family of Louisville, Ky. and Mrs. Sadie Lee Cox and family of Columbus, Ohio; other relatives and a host of friends to mourn her passing, including a special friend, Mrs. Bernice D. Johnson of Williamson, W.Va.

Visitation and remembrances will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 18, 2011, at St. James A.M.E Church in Williamson, W.Va.  A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 19, 2011, at St. James A.M.E Church, followed by interment at Mountain View Memory Gardens in Maher, W.Va.   Gregory-Page Funeral Home of Williamson, W.Va. is in charge of the funeral services.