Mary Ann “Sam” Whisner

Published 3:34 pm Monday, December 9, 2013

Mary Ann “Sam” Whisner was born March 12, 1936 and passed away Dec. 3.

She grew up in Randolph County as a child and as a teenager in Bessemer.

Valedictorian at Bessemer High School, she was awarded a scholarship to Birmingham Southern College, where she met her husband Richard Whisner.

They have been married for 57 years.

She realized her love for world travel during her husband’s Air Force career, living in South America and Europe. Always active, Whisner was elected to the Board of Directors of the Maxwell-Gunter Credit Union and the Chilton County Bank, she was elected president of the German-American Women’s Club while living in Stuttgart and in the former Yugoslavia she served her country as Community Liaison Officer in the U.S. Embassy.

She completed her bachelor’s degree at Auburn University at Montgomery.

After retiring to Verbena, Whisner devoted her energy to various civic activities including the Cotton Patch Quilters, Chilton County Arts Council, Chilton County Master Gardeners, Senior Connection, as well as supported various functions in the Chilton-Clanton Public Library. She also ran her own antiques and curiosities shop, Bits and Bobs.

Whisner and her husband continued to travel abroad in retirement, visiting Alaska, Hawaii, Europe, South America, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and the Baltic with their friends.

She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Clanton.

On the passing of her parents, G.L. (in 1998) and Ollie Braden (in 2002), she managed Jemison Milling and her father’s other properties.

She is survived by her husband, Col. Richard Lynn Whisner USAF (Ret.); her sons, Richard (Dianne) of Howell, Mich. and Gil (Andrea) of Scottsdale, Ariz.; brother, Royce Braden (Jolene) of Freeburg, Ill. and sisters, Joyce Hill (Dean) of Calera, Okla. and Pat Hamilton (Wayne) of Clanton; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Habitat for Humanity, Shelby-Chilton County Salvation Army and the Chilton County Humane Society.

A memorial service was held Dec. 9 at 11 a.m. at Clanton First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Rob West officiating.

Interment will follow in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Martin Funeral Home directing.

You may leave online condolences for the family on the guest registry at