Miss Edith Whitby
Miss Edith Whitby, 86, of Harrisonville, Missouri was born April 8, 1921
near Harrisonville, Missouri as the second daughter of George and Leah Sliffe Whitby.
She departed this life Friday, June 29, 2007 at Crown Care Center.
Miss Whitby and her older sister Mary Helene attended the same
rural school their father had attended. Miss Whitby graduated from
Harrisonville High School in 1939. Miss Whitby taught for 47 years
in the Missouri public schools. She began her teaching career in
1945-47 at the Belle Plaine rural school in Cass County. She then
taught primarily at the high school level at Peculiar (1947-48),
Ballard (1948-50) Hermitage (1950-54), Ridgeway (1954-58),
Belleview near Mound City (1958-63), Hermitage (1963-69),
and Weableau (1969-92). She also taught science classes for
Wentworth Junior College from 1991-93. She was awarded a
Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Central Missouri
State Teachers College in 1944 and a Master of Science in Education
degree in 1955. Her teaching assignments on the secondary level
covered a wide range of subjects—health and physical education,
speech and drama, social studies, English, math, chemistry, and
biology. She also served as a guidance counselor and psychological
examiner. Extra class activities included coaching basketball and
softball, directing class plays, class sponsorships, and serving as
advisor for the National Honor Society. She was a member of the
Missouri State Teachers Association, National Science Teachers
Association, Speech Teacher Association of Missouri, Missouri
School Counselors Association, Central Missouri District Guidance
Association, Delta Kappa Gamma, and the Cass County and
Missouri Retired Teachers Associations.
In 1988, Miss Whitby was chosen for the Outstanding Leader Award
by the Community Teachers & Missouri State Teachers Association
“for leadership at the local level, for her encouragement to students,
for her certification in twelve areas of education, and for her active
participation in the local CTA.?She often was referred to as the
Missouri teacher holding certification in the most subject areas.
Upon her retirement from high school teaching in 1992, Miss Whitby
was honored by resolutions of both the Missouri State Senate and
House of Representatives. In 1992, Missouri Commissioner of Education
Robert Bartman presented her the Pioneer in Education award at the
annual banquet of Missouri School Administrators.
She was selected as the Cass County Retired Educator of the Year
for 2001-02. Harrisonville Mayor Kevin White proclaimed Edith Whitby
Citizen for the Day on September 21, 2002. In 2002, she also was
honored by the Delta Kappa Gamma International Honor Society
for 25 years of devoted and valuable service.
After her retirement from teaching, she moved from Hickory County,
where she had lived for many years, back to Harrisonville and lived
with her sister Mary Helene Whitby Wortham, who passed away in 2000.
Miss Whitby was a charter member of the Mary Sibley Chapter of the
National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. She valued
her heritage as an American citizen and regularly presented Chapter
programs on the U.S. Constitution and American heritage and history.
Learning, reading, and staying in touch with family and friends, including
her many former teaching colleagues and students, were pleasures of her
every day. Miss Whitby was a long-time member of the Christian Church,
Disciples of Christ. In Cass County, she attended the Freeman Presbyterian
Church, to which her sister’s family belonged.
She is survived by her niece Leah Wortham and Leah’s husband, Eric Hirschhorn,
of Chevy Chase, Maryland and their children Alexander, Elizabeth, and
Anne Wortham Hirschhorn, as well as her devoted caregiver and friend
Georgia Smith of Freeman.
Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m., Friday. July 6, 2007 at Freeman
Presbyterian Church, Freeman, Missouri under the direction of Dickey
Funeral Home, Harrisonville, Missouri.
Family will receive friends from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m., Friday at the church.
The family requests no flowers and contributions may be made to the
Edith Whitby Scholarship Fund, established at her retirement and awarded
to a graduating Weableau high school senior who can use the assistance
going on to college. Checks can be made out to Weableau RIII School
District—Whitby Scholarship and mailed to the school at 509 N. Center Street,
Weableau, Missouri 65774.