Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Newspaper Article About Beverly Reimer-Whipple

The Hutch News, a well-known and respected newspaper in Hutchinson, Kansas, printed this wonderful tribute to Mrs. Beverly Reimer-Whipple, former resident of Wichita County. Locally, she is survived by her brothers, Mylan and Doreen Reimer and Karl and Mary Reimer, and a niece, Janea Porter. (I aplogize in advance! I probably mispelled Mrs. Porter's name something awful...) If you did not already know Beverly, after reading this article, you will feel like you always knew this extremely beautiful lady. She'll be missed tremendously by the many people who loved her...VLE-B

Wife, mother was always a teacher
Ordinary Lives
By Kathy Hanks - The Hutchinson News - khanks@hutchnews.com

DIGHTON - Teaching was more than a profession to Beverly Whipple. It was at the core of her being.
"That was who she was," said her daughter Wendy Miller.

Whipple, 67, died from injuries sustained Jan 2 when she was hit by a trailer being pulled by a pickup truck as she slipped and fell while closing a pasture gate on an icy and foggy night.

Despite retiring from teaching in 2005, after 35 years, she continued to be immersed in lifelong learning, helping her husband in his trucking business and cattle operation, taking up photography and teaching a Bible study.

"She never lost her curiosity and was still discovering the world around her," said daughter Tiffany Elf.

Ever the computer teacher, she didn't want technology to get ahead of her.

"She was always learning new things on the computer. She was on Facebook and wanted an MP3 player to keep up with the kids," said Randy Whipple, her husband of 26 years

For 35 years she experienced teaching at every level, from kindergarten through high school. She taught gifted education, computers, Title I, and primary-grades gym and music.

A fond memory for daughters Jeannie Holton and Wendy Miller was the year their mother taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Antioch, Neb., in 1981.

"It was as if we stepped back in time," said Holton. As the only employee, she was responsible for both teaching and cleaning the building. After that experience, she moved to Marienthal to teach. Friends encouraged her to attend a square dancing class. Randy was the teacher. They soon became dance partners and married on April 1, 1985.

Along with Randy, daughters Jeannie Holton, Wendy Miller, Andrea Bernard, Tiffany Alf and 11 grandchildren survive her.

With strong teaching instincts, she turned play with her family into a learning experience. Whatever they were doing together, it always seemed to become a lesson.

A memory for Bernard was having her mother there when her third baby was born this fall. Beverly had the other children in the yard raking leaves, teaching them the importance of doing chores. She then proceeded to jump in the leaves so they were buried up to their necks, teaching them the importance of fun.

"She was overwhelmingly creative," said Miller. "She was an outside-the-box thinker."

She didn't give her daughters answers but had ways of challenging them to come up with the answers. While she taught her daughters how to be mothers and teachers, they believe her greatest gift was her faith.

"She taught me about Jesus and took me to church, so that I had an understanding of who Jesus was," Holton said. "I was able to make it a part of my life in such a simple way that I am now able to share this with my children, helping them to have a relationship with our Lord."

Beverly's faith was a legacy her parents left her. She knew God was in control and working in her life.

She never met a stranger.

"Mom had so much empathy," said Elf. "She felt the hurt that people felt."

She reached out to everybody. On a whirlwind tour visiting all her daughters and grandchildren, she sat next to a woman on the train ride home. She befriended the woman and brought her to the Lord, Randy Whipple said. Beverly and the woman kept in touch and the family hoped to keep the relationship going.

"Everyone was family," Bernard said. Her daughters in-law and extended family became her family.

At her funeral, the sanctuary was filled with her family.

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