Jolene Wheaton, 87, of Conroe, Texas, passed away Tuesday, February 7, 2023, in her home. Born ten years behind her three siblings in a log cabin to her parents, Joseph Lawrence Gordey and Jettie Geneva Havens in Melder, Louisiana. A loving, beautiful child with a confident air and a vibrant personality. When she was just eight years old, her childhood was marked by the early passing of her father to Tuberculosis. As a young teenager, she helped her Mother run their little farm, enjoyed playing volleyball, but loved nothing more than being an aunt to her brothers and sister’s children.
Jolene met the love of her life, Adam Wheaton, when she was 20 years old at the local U.S.O. where she saw him playing ping-pong and asked him to dance. Together, they traveled the world; living in Louisiana, Georgia, Turkey, Virginia, Michigan and Texas in military housing, suburban communities and finally, retired to a farm of their own.
Despite a gloomy diagnosis from her gynecologist that she would never conceive, Adam and Jolene were blessed with four children, their first arriving in the first year of their marriage.
She believed in the importance of family, hot meals for supper, cleaning your plate and early bedtimes for children, keeping her house clean, not being idle (folding laundry in front of her soap operas), respecting your elders, her children saying “yes ma’am, no ma’am, thank you ma’am & please,” warm hugs and fly-swatter whoopins. When adults entertained, “children were to be seen and not heard.” She believed in the importance of presentation for herself and her children, she would often say “suffer to be beautiful” as she tightened sponge-curlers in her daughters’ hair after every bath. When a woman acted without class, she’d say; “Pretty is as pretty does.” but, discouraged gossip by saying; “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Jolene was a skilled bookkeeper, later, a successful Tupperware salesperson (earning rewards and ranking tenth in her region). She spent the majority of her years, though, as a full-time mother and housewife; volunteering as Room Parent at her children’s school, serving as President of the P.T.A. and leading Girl Scouts troops. She enjoyed hosting game nights for their friends and hobbies such as knitting afghans, making clothes on her Mother’s Singer sewing machine, and later in life, bird watching. In their retirement years, she supported their income by breeding Himalayan and Birman kittens. Most of all, though, she just loved being a mother and grandmother.
In 1993, Jolene suffered a fall that left her at varying degrees of handicap over the years that followed, until she was confined to a bed in 2020. These latter years were among her most difficult. Her legacy will forever be seen in how her children and grandchildren show love to those around them. For her to rest now and step into glory with her strength restored where she longed to be reunited with so many that preceded her is her family’s solace.
Jolene was preceded in death by her husband of sixty-six years, Adam Wheaton; her parents, Lawrence and Jettie Gordey; brothers; Everett Gordey and his wife Leona, Douglas Gordey and his wife Irble, and her sister, Beatrice Guffey. She leaves behind her son, Victor Owen Wheaton and wife Denise; son Melton (Bo) Lawrence Wheaton and wife Sherry; daughter Pamala Jolene Sells and husband Ed; daughter Anita Jettie Graves; her nineteen grandchildren; Daniel Wheaton and wife Lilly, Rachalle Liedy and husband Bill, Jeremiah Wheaton and wife Mary, Joshua Wheaton, Timothy Wheaton, Tamara Draper and husband Shane, Lisa Silverman and husband Reed, Eddie Sells and wife Kaitlyn, Rebekah Sells, Kimberly Wolf, Cody Wolf, Natalie Graves and Victoria Wolf; and fifteen beautiful great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, in the chapel of Allison Funeral Services, 1101 N. Travis, Liberty, Texas 77575 with Pastor Paul Glazener of Cornerstone Church officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior. A graveside service will immediately follow at Palms Memorial Cemetery in Dayton.
Honoring their grandmother by serving as pallbearers are Daniel Wheaton, Jeremiah Wheaton, Josh Wheaton, Timothy Wheaton, Cody Wolf, Kaleb May, Elijah Wheaton and Macaiah Wheaton.
Memories and condolences can be shared with the family by visiting www.allisonfuneralservice.com.