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Loretta Annie Whithaus, age 85 of Morrison, passed away July 7, 2018 at General Baptist Nursing Home, Linn, Missouri. She was born February 25, 1933 in Morrison the daughter of the late Rudolph and Matilda (nee Birk) Witthaus.
She attended Morrison Public School and graduated from the 8th grade. At age 14 she worked for Al Boettcher at Schweighauser Store in Morrison, where she learned a work ethic that stayed with her the rest of her life. That work ethic was, when you finish one job, look for another job that needs to be done.
Loretta married Benjamin Whithaus on March 3, 1951 at St. James E. & R. Church, Morrison and to this union 2 sons were born Jerry Lee and Michael Joe.
Loretta and Ben Owned and operated Shady Acres tavern and dance hall, previously know as Baeckers Place from 1951 to 1958. Loretta pumped gas, served food, sold beer, soda, cigarettes while taking care of her two children under six while Ben drove a milk truck. And of course, there was a dance every Saturday night with live country music, serving beer, soda, roast beef sandwiches and hamburgers. After selling Shady Acres, Ben and Loretta farmed, growing grain, hogs and cattle. Loretta helped with the field work as well as caring for the pigs until weaning. Later she got a job off the farm working at three local cafe'/taverns, one being the former Shady Acres. She would often work alone as a waitress, cook, bartender and cleaning lady. She sometimes worked the morning at one tavern and the afternoon at another. She would even work a 16 hour day on occasion. At this time, she would also help care for her parents so they could stay in their home into their 90's. Ben passed away April 15th, 2001, six weeks after he and Loretta celebrated with family and many, many friends their 50 years of marriage.
Loretta was an active member of the St. James U.C.C. Church in Morrison. For over 40 years she was the driving force behind making homemade ice cream for the annual church picnic and ice cream social. She also had the hamburger stand at the picnic for many years. As a fundraiser, her "Trash for Cash" program contributed many thousands of dollars to various projects around the church, including one of the windows and the ice cream building.
Loretta love to have fun. She invited large numbers of families and friends to the "clubhouse" on the farm by the lake for barbeques, fish fries, fishing and games. She enjoyed bowling, her Thursday night ladies league made it to the 1988 state championships. Loretta and Ben loved dancing, they belonged to a local square dance club that met at a restored one room school house. they traveled many miles most every Saturday night for years, often with Loretta's brothers and sisters and their spouses, to dance to live country music. She liked to waltz, but her favorite was dancing the jitterbug with her older brother Floyd. Loretta was in her element surrounded by people, and you could be sure there would always be lots of laughter, and fun. When she ran into relatives or old friends, after saying hello, they would often say " hey Loretta, remember that time when we..." and then they would laugh, and one memory of good times would lead to another.
Survivors include two sons; Jerry Lee and wife Becky of Waco, Texas and Michael Joe of Loose Creek. One granddaughter, Shannon and husband Mark Benson of Waco, Texas. Two great- grandchildren, Andrew and Annalise Benson of Waco, and by one brother Donnie Ray and wife Adlee Witthaus of Hermann.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her brothers Floyd Witthuas and wife Margaret, Leroy Wife Witthaus and wife Gertrude, by 3 year old Gilbert and by her sisters Talitha Winkelmann and husband Alfred, Dorla Jean Jones and husband Bob and Loretta twin sister Lore, at birth.
Visitation will be Tuesday, July 10th from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Toedtmann & Grosse Funeral Home, Hermann and from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Wednesday at St. James United Church of Christ, Morrison. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. at St. James U.C.C., Morrison. Burial will be at Good Hope cemetery in Morrison. Memorials are suggested to the Memorial fund at St. James U.C.C. Church.