FARLESS, Virginia Dean WhalenGot the last laugh Tuesday evening August 7, 2012. She chuckled in the face of death from the time she was born, the baby child of Thaddeus and Lottie Whalen in Harrison County, Kentucky on May 10, 1932. She had severe asthma and on many occasions the doctor predicted to her older brother, Gerald, that she would not live through the night. She not only lived but laughed a lot; when she graduated from Oddville High School (perfect), as a funny pastor's wife in SC, KY, and Ashland City, TN, a Kentucky Colonel, and a nurse at Deberry Prison. She was a joyful cancer survivor, a hilarious mother, and an over-the-top grandmother and great grandmother. She stood toe to toe with death on several occasions, when her daughter, Charlotta, was killed in 1976, and her daughter, Cheralyn, died in 1978, and in the last few years when her beloved sister Ruth and nephew Thad passed away, all of whom along with her mom and dad are dancing a jig in heaven today. She laughed most often with her darling husband of 30 years, Sammy Farless. She hee-hawed her way into many of the sermons her son, Mike Courtney, with his wife Doris, preached, and the jokes her daughter Chonda Pierce, with her husband David, told. She was the source of smiles for her beloved nephew, Jerry Huff and niece, Mary Ruth Chafin. She made her grandkids, Josh and Jennifer Courtney, Jacob Courtney, Chera and Craig Meredith and Zach Pierce shake their heads and tell Nanny stories. She made her great grands, Jon-Mical and Jakson Courtney and Sawyer Meredith giggle when she patted their faces. And on Tuesday night, after fighting death to a draw for 7 weeks, she got the last laugh when death thought it won but she said, "Aw shucks," and went home to be with Jesus. Come celebrate with us at Cheatham County Funeral Home on Saturday, August 11th at 11 a.m. or just drop by and swap stories 1-8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 9-11 a.m. Saturday. In lieu of flowers, bring a smile to her face by contributing to Branches Recovery Center, 1450 Battleground Dr., Murfreesboro, TN 37129, (615) 904-7170. CHEATHAM COUNTY FUNERAL HOME in charge of arrangements, (615) 792-2552. Obit line: (615) 792-2771.
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Published in The Tennessean on Aug. 9, 2012