Funeral service for Ms. Dorothy Marie Ellis Whitehead, 99, who passed away Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at Covenant Manor care facility will be conducted at 3 PM on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Higgins Funeral Home with Bro, Ellis Coats officiating. Burial will follow in Wright’s Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be from 1 PM until 3 PM Saturday at Higgins Funeral Home.
Dorothy was born September 3, 1921 in Po’ Grab,Tennessee to the late John and Reba Ellis. She was the wife for 72 years of Bert Holman Whitehead of Boonshill who died September 26, 2011 at 92 years of age. She was also preceded in death by her brother James Phillip (Phil) Ellis in 2003. Dorothy grew up with Phil and her sisters Betty Margaret Ellis Troup (Rhinard), Jo Anne Ellis Price (Johnnie), and Peggy Ellis Brown (the late Robert Brown) in Nashville and Lincoln County, TN. She graduated Boonshill High School in May, 1939. Dorothy loved to tell stories of playing guard on the girls’ high school basketball team. Dorothy was a member of the Church of Christ at Friendship
Immediately after graduation, she became a hard-working farm wife on May 6, 1939. She was also a seamstress for many years, working for Serbin on a pinking machine for 20 years, starting in 1960. In addition to her role in creating Serbin’s signature shirtwaist dresses, she also sewed her own and her daughter’s clothes, tended her beloved flowers, and put-up vegetables from the family’s large garden. She was a champion at house cleaning and window washing, and there were few idle moments in her days on into her mid-90s. It has been said that she was a hard worker and for fun she also worked. Dorothy loved to cook for her family and was known for her chocolate pies, green beans, cornbread, and “dressed” eggs. She was a life-long vegetarian.
Dorothy loved her family, especially spending time with her sisters, and she doted on her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She leaves behind sons Randy Whitehead (Karen) of Boonshill, TN and Gerry Whitehead (Lisa) of Cookeville, TN and daughter Denise Brooks (Matt) of Collierville, TN. Grandchildren are Leta Bishop (Chris) of Rogersville, AL, Scott Whitehead (Cheryl) of Boonshill, TN, Bret Whitehead and Sarah Whitehead of Cookeville, TN, Jeffrey Brooks (Jessica) of Nashville, TN and Abby Brooks of Memphis, TN. Great grandchildren Oliva and Noah Bishop, Jonah and Jesse Whitehead, and Makenzie Whitehead.
Dorothy also loved her many nieces and nephews, all of whom got a kick out of receiving a dollar bill in the mail from her on their birthdays for many, many years. The Whitehead family farm was the site of numerous family reunions which were Dorothy’s joy to host.
Over her last years, Dorothy suffered from dementia, and she resided at Covenant Manor in Fayetteville, TN since 2017 where she was provided excellent care by owners and staff and treated as though she was a beloved family member. Previous to that time, Home Instead caregiver Bonnie Manley was pivotal in helping her extend her time in her own home. Dorothy will be fondly remembered by many neighbors and friends.
Memorials may be made to Wright’s Cemetery, ℅ Sherry Davis, 284 Red Oak Rd, Petersburg, TN, or charity of your choice. The family of Mrs. Whitehead kindly requests that you wear a face covering at the visitation and funeral. Masks will be available for attendees.
Higgins Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family of Ms. Dorothy Marie Ellis Whitehead