Willetta Vernona (Rhodus) McBride, 91, passed away on Dec.22, 2013 at Guest Home Estates in Caney, Ks.
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Mrs. McBride was born June 24, 1922 in Barnsdall, Ok. to Reverend Verna and Agnes (Wooten) Rhodus. As the daughter of a Southern Baptist preacher, Willetta spent her childhood living northeast of Dewey, OK. She was proud of her Cherokee heritage, so hunting with her father and exploring the outdoors came naturally to her. She graduated from Dewey High School in 1940. Willetta enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944 and was stationed in the Intelligence Division at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. serving under Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.
For a short time after World War II, Willetta worked for Phillips Petroleum Co. While working in Bartlesville, she met Clarence Earl McBride. On Oct. 25, 1947, she and Earl were married at the First Baptist Church in Dewey, OK. They made their home in Caney and were married for 61 years. Mr. McBride preceded her in death on Dec 5, 2008.
Mrs. McBride worked for her sister-in-law, Maxine Blackledge, at Blackledge Sales Co. in Caney. She worked in the China Room for many years, assisting families pick out fine glassware for their homes. She also worked for McBride TV in Coffeyville for 15 years assisting her son Richard with his business. For most of her life, she enjoyed playing bridge with friends. She belonged to the PTA and was a Cub Scout den mother for her sons. She was a member of the First Christian Church and CWF in Caney, Ernest Brown American Legion Post 138, American Legion Ladies Aux., Caney Sigournian Club, and the Coffeyville Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. (DAR). She was an avid gardener, and a life-long member of the Caney Garden Club. She is a past State and District President of the Kansas Associated Garden Clubs.
Willetta McBride was preceded in death by her parents and husband, sisters Marvell Rhodus, Leola Mitchell, Lela Herrington, and infant brother Robert Clay Rhodus.
Mrs. McBride is survived by two sons, Andrew Dale and fiancée Gina Riley, Richard Earl and wife Sandra, grandchildren Todd Gritzmaker and wife Cassy of Winfield KS, Shawn McBride and wife Amy of Shanghi, China, Ryan McBride and wife Lisa of Hooker, OK, and Jason McBride and fiancée Shelley Gilliland of Caney. Great-grandchildren Krystal, Hunter and Hannah Gritzmaker, John & Cheyenne Hill, Max and Claire McBride, Dakotah and Sayde McBride, and Connor McBride. She is also survived by her loving niece, Nancy Roe, along with other relatives.
Services will be Saturday, December 28th at 2pm at the Caney Christian Church. Family visitation will be at Potts Chapel in Caney on Friday from 6pm-8pm. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial donations be made to the Caney Library Dream Builders fund or the Caney Garden Club.
Published in Examiner-Enterprise from Dec. 26, 2013 to Jan. 25, 2014