Maida R. (Emrick) Whitten passed from this life on Tuesday, February 6th, 2023.
A proud native Texan, she married another like-minded Texan, Robert G. “Bob” Whitten, on July 30th, 1949. Together they built a life that embodied courage and strength, creativity and independence, and a deep commitment to - and love for - family that transcends the generations.
Maida graduated from Chillicothe High School (class of 1946) and attended business college in Wichita Falls. She then provided administrative support for several companies in Fort Worth and San Antonio until she and Bob began their family. She later worked in the legal department for the Federal Aviation Administration in Kansas City until her retirement in 1994.
Maida expressed her gifts of creativity in a number of ways through the years. She was an excellent seamstress, making countless garments for herself and her daughters. Maida combined her sewing skills with embroidery and other fiber arts to make items that were both practical and decorative. In more recent years, she used exquisite fabric to create numerous origami-type ornaments that are prized possessions of her family and friends. She was equally creative in the kitchen, typically using recipes merely as a guide for preparing excellent meals. For many years, she and Bob had a large garden that produced an abundance of fresh vegetables that were harvested for summer meals, or canned and frozen for later consumption.
Maida’s love of history and passion for family naturally led her into genealogical research, to which she devoted more than 60 years. She and Bob traveled to family reunions, enjoying visits with relatives near and far. Together they researched in libraries, county court houses, and gravesites to document her family history, and to supplement what was already known about his. Along the way, they collected stories, artifacts, and photographs that fleshed out the multitude of lineage charts and family group sheets. Her research interests and natural leadership ability led her to be active with the former Heart of America Genealogical Society (now Midwest Genealogy Center of the Mid-Continent Public Library).
Soon after moving to Overland Park in 1970, Maida and Bob joined Valley View United Methodist Church (now Church of the Resurrection Overland Park), and were among the founding members of “The Movie Group” in 1971. The Movie Group gathered monthly to watch a movie, followed by discussion, refreshments, and the sharing of their lives. The group itself changed and morphed as people relocated or moved into the area, and it provided the foundation for much of Maida and Bob’s social life. These life-long friends have shared many joyous events together, supported one another during times of illness and grief, and have grown old together.
Maida is survived by three daughters and their husbands, Rev. Soozi Whitten Ford (Rev. Homer) of Greenwood IN, Sandra Million (Ron) of Kansas City MO and Stacy McCullough (Monty) of Kansas City MO; six grandchildren Ashley Ford, Holly (Michael) Kelly, Jeff (Brittney) McCullough, Jake (Miranda) McCullough, Joab Allen, Justin (Sherry) Allen, Tony Million and Krista Million. Maida is also the beloved “Gigi” to nine great-grandchildren.
Maida was preceded in death by her husband Bob; her parents Charles M. and Amy Carol (Rutledge) Emrick; a sister Tama Key Salmans, brothers Charles K. Emrick and Jerry Dan Emrick and son-in-law Danny Allen.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Friday, February 24th, 2023, at the Amos Family Funeral Home at 10901 Johnson Dr. in Shawnee KS, with Rev. Homer Ford officiating. The family will receive guests beginning at 10:00 a.m., prior to the service beginning at 11:00 a.m. A graveside service will follow at Shawnee Mission Memory Gardens, 23215 W. 75th St, Shawnee, KS 66227.
Memorial contributions may be made in Maida's name to the Midwest Genealogical Center of the Mid-Continent Public Library 3440 S. Lee's Summit, Independence, MO 64055, or online by CLICKING HERE.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Maida Emrick Whitten, please visit our floral store.
Midwest Genealogical Center of the Mid-Continent Public Library
3440 S. Lee's Summit, Independence MO 64055