Donna “Beth” Whitman, 95, of Paradise, Kansas passed away Friday, May 5, 2023 at the Main Street Manor in Russell, Ks. Beth was born July 21, 1927 at the family home in Waldo, Ks. She was an identical twin to Billie and they were the daughters of Jacob and Clemmar (Knapp) Luder. She grew up in Waldo, Ks and graduated from the Waldo High School in 1945. She went on to earn her teaching certificate at Fort Hays University. During this time she worked as a secretary at Walker Air Force Base near Hays. She met Elbert “Spud” Whitman when he was home on leave from the Navy. They fell in love and were married later that year on Dec. 21, 1946 in her home in Waldo, Ks.
Beth was a working woman before that became a popular term. After marriage, she began working as a teacher at Fairport Elementary and later as a secretary/bookkeeper at Rogers and Hoisington Wholesale in Paradise. Lastly, she was postmaster at Paradise for 26 years, retiring in 1992. She took great pride in running an efficient, clean post office. She was a longtime member of the Paradise United Methodist Church and Russell VFW Ladies Auxiliary.
Beth had a special love for learning. Webster’s Dictionary, World Book Encyclopedias and Maltin’s Movie Guide sat beside her recliner and were frequently consulted. Individual’s names and special dates were important to her. Not only could she remind you of the date, day of the week and time a grandchild had been born but she would include the weather for that date. She loved words, often teasing family about how many syllables they had just spoke. All this led her to be a wonderful conversationalist. She asked questions, listened and remembered to follow-up on a personal level. Many people have commented about the great times they had visiting her and Spud sitting at their kitchen table with a cup of coffee. After retiring, Beth enjoyed long walks, watching old movies, working crosswords, and playing games on the computer. Most of all she enjoyed spending time with her family, taking a special interest in their work, activities and friends.
Beth is survived by her children: Denny Whitman and wife Sheila of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, Sandy Mead and husband Allen of Manhattan, Kansas, Pat Lund and husband Rick of Lincoln, Kansas and Fred Whitman and wife Kristi of Paradise Kansas. Her greatest legacy is her 12 grandchildren and 28 great grandkids. She is also survived by special nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her spouse, and siblings; twin sister, Wilma Lea McAlexander, brother James Luder, infant brother Noel Luder, and infant great grandson, Tilden Archuleta.
Graveside Service will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, May13, 2023 at the Mt. Herman Cemetery in Paradise, Kansas. A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, May 13, 2023 at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary in Russell. Visitation will be from 9:00 AM to 8PM, Friday, May 12, 2023 at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary with the family present to greet friends from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. A Memorial has been established with Main Street Manor. Contributions and condolences may be sent to the Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.