Helen Mae Atherton Whisenand

1909 - 2008

Helen Mae Atherton Whisenand, a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother, passed away peacefully in her sleep Monday, March 24, 2008, at age 98.

Funeral: 11 a.m. Thursday at Shannon Rose Hill Funeral Chapel.

Interment: Shannon Rose Hill Cemetery. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, contributions in her honor may be made to The Founders Fund, First Christian Church, 612 Throckmorton St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102.

Helen was born April 13, 1909, in Centralia, Ill., and grew up with four brothers and one sister, all deceased. She was raised on a farm and loved animals and gardening. She moved to St. Louis, Mo., to attend Brown Business College.

Helen was an avid tennis player in the early '30s and won trophies in singles, double and mixed doubles. Ice skating was another passion, but she declined to go on tour with the ice show. She flew with Amelia Earhart. Her future husband, Joseph L. Whisenand, coached her team in the Ladies Basketball League. She and Joe moved their four young children to Fort Worth in 1945 and their fifth child was born in Texas. The family joined First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in downtown Fort Worth and family members are still active there today. Helen resided in east Fort Worth for more than 60 years and was a charter member of the East Fort Worth B&PW. She was a frequent worker at the local election polling site. Helen and Joe formed Fort Worth Real Estate Co. in 1962. After Joe's death in 1968 Helen and younger daughter Marilyn Townsend operated the company until 1992. Helen had a zest for life and always looked forward to family gatherings.

Survivors: Daughter, Janet Harvey; sons and their wives, Jim and Janice Whisenand, Jack and Kala Whisenand, Charlie and Chris Whisenand; daughter, Marilyn and husband, L.A. Townsend; 15 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandsons.

Published in the Star-Telegram on 3/26/2008