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Martha Whitlow


1920 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Martha Whitlow Obituary
Martha Whitlow

Germantown, TN

Martha Whitlow was born on November 3, 1920 in St. Joseph, Missouri, where she said that "she was invited to come to the house of" Margaret and Francis Wilhelm, as the third of their four children. Young Martha was a giddy girl who loved pranks and mischief. She put rocks on the Interurban train tracks where they lived at Stop No. 8. She remained zany in adulthood. The radio music of the Roaring Twenties soon had young Martha doing the Charleston and her life-long love of music and dancing was born. Her next love was animals, especially dogs, with Martha helping raise and train a show dog in the 1930s. Then, her mother introduced her to antiques, which started a long life of collecting. In 1941 Martha met Ken Whitlow at Katz Drugstore where they both worked. Ken was a sharp dresser, smooth dancer and fast talker, and they eloped after just six months. She followed Ken in the US Army where they lived in Texas and Utah until the end of the war when they moved to Kansas City and had their sons, Mark and Craig. In 1960 the family moved to Memphis where Martha's antique collecting accelerated and the house took on the semblance of a museum. Family vacations were spent with a trailer behind the car picking the Tennessee countryside for early-American primitive antiques. After amassing a huge collection, Martha found her "dream" old house in Germantown. It was a rundown circa 1849 cottage with a Victorian addition in historic Germantown. Her friends thought she was crazy. Nonetheless, the family renovated it with great care from 1962-1965 and named it "Patches". Martha then decorated Patches with her unique style and elegant taste using pre-1849 early American primitive antiques. It was then truly her dream home. Martha resided there until after Ken's death when she moved to Wicklow Village in Germantown and down-sized her collection into another lovely home which she enjoyed with her good "gal pals" for almost 20 years. Her friends all marveled at how young Martha looked and acted in her golden years, always with her quick wit and keen sense of humor. Martha was known as "Mimi" to her beloved granddaughters, Megan and Samantha and precious great-granddaughter, Riley Turner, all of Nashville, and her grandson, Zac, of Marina del Rey. Others knew her as "Miss Martha", "Martha Mae" or "Bunny", because of her love of rabbits. By whatever name, she was a very classy lady and will be greatly missed. A private service will be held at Forest Hill East Cemetery on Saturday, March 11th at 10 a.m., followed by a celebration of Martha's life in her home at 1932 Wicklow Way, starting at noon. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Humane Society off Memphis and Shelby County ([email protected] Humane).
Published in The Commercial Appeal from Mar. 10 to Mar. 12, 2017
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