ERNESTINE WHALAApril 30th, 2021 | Paid Obituary
Ernestine Whala, much beloved, who shared her kindness, compassion, and humor with everyone she met, went home to be with her Savior on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. Ernestine, or Teenie as she was known, was born on February 11, 1932, in the front bedroom of her family home in Ashdown, Arkansas. She lived many years in the lovely home right next door. Teenie loved her family and friends, especially her dear friends in her Sunday School class at First Baptist Church in Ashdown, and of course, the Razorbacks. Teenie even served as the football coach at Ben Lomond early in her teaching career. She earned her teacher's certificate at Henderson State University, and in addition to teaching, was the school principal in Ben Lomond. As a teenager, Teenie met Jimmy Whala of Haworth, Oklahoma at the tennis court at Ashdown High School. They married on September 16, 1951 at First Baptist Church in Ashdown and the photos show lovely bridal party satin dresses and an abundance of mums in autumn colors. Thus began the adventurous life of Jimmy and Teenie Whala, traveling the world and living overseas with Jimmy's position with Dresser Industries-Magcobar. Teenie's heart was never far from home, and she kept in constant touch with family and friends, even listening to Razorback games on the radio in the middle of the night. Teenie and Jimmie lived in Louisiana and Oregon before moving to Bogota, Colombia. While living there, they welcomed a set of twins, Jim and Stacey, born in Houston, Texas. Now the family of adventurers was complete, and they continued their travels, living in Lagos, Nigeria, and Singapore before returning to the States and living in Connecticut, Texas, and Oklahoma. When Jimmy retired, they returned to Ashdown, which was always home to Teenie, no matter where she was living around the world. Upon returning to Ashdown, Jimmy opened Jim's Gun Shop and Teenie worked many years at her niece's drugstore, The Corner Pharmacy. While there, Teenie continued her ministry of kindness, meeting new friends and making time to listen and visit with anyone who needed her gifts of warmth and compassion. Teenie is survived by her daughter, Stacey Whala, of Boulder, Colorado and her two grandsons, Jack Thomas Lenny and Griffin James Lenny, both of Fort Collins, Colorado. Her husband, James M. Whala, and her son, James Robert Whala, preceded her in death. Teenie is survived by numerous nephews and nieces and a large extended family. The family requests those who wish to express sympathy consider making a donation to their favorite charity in Ernestine Whala's name. Teenie's Celebration of Life service will be at 2 pm on Friday, May 7, 2021 at First Baptist Church in Ashdown, with visitation at the church beginning at 1 pm that day.