Elizabeth Whitener entered into eternal rest peacefully on the afternoon of July 14, 2017 at the age of 64. Surrounded by her loving family, she succumbed to her extended battle with cancer which she faced with unmatched bravery, courage, and grace.
Elizabeth, known to all as Bobbie, was born in Asheville, North Carolina on October 4, 1952 to William J. Murphy, Sr. and Catherine L. Murphy; Bobbie lost her father at an early age and her mother remarried Everett L. Flanagan who loved Bobbie and her siblings as his own. She had an idyllic childhood that was filled with grand adventure, laughter and love. At the age of 16, Bobbie met her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, Pat. Bobbie and Pat celebrated forty-three years of marriage and their devotion and love for one another was unparalleled. Their marriage produced two of Bobbie’s greatest achievements, daughters Christie and Stephanie. The passion she had for her family was evident throughout her years by raising her daughters and being “BB” to her precious twin granddaughters, Catherine and Charlotte, the lights of her life. Bobbie loved her family with all of her heart, and her love for them gave her remarkable strength to fight her illness until the very end.
Bobbie, a nurse by profession, devoted her life to her family. She spent many years helping run the family business, Whitener Sales Company, handling the finances and assisting with the operations. However, her true calling was as wife to Pat, mother to her daughters, and grandmother to her granddaughters. Bobbie tirelessly volunteered at her daughters' schools, never missed a sporting event, and spoke on the phone with each of them countless times a day. She was a tremendous Southern cook, an aficionado of canning fresh vegetables, an avid orchid grower, had a great eye for antiques, loved Christmas and listening to Christmas music year-round, enjoyed shrimping on the shores of Edisto, and adored animals, especially her Yorkshire Terriers through the years (Daisie Belle, Mattie Mae, Allie, and Annie). She loved to spend summers at Edisto Beach, but Asheville was always home. Bobbie was humble, gentle and kind, she had a loving and generous spirit, never met a stranger, and was always giving to others.
Bobbie leaves her loving memories to be cherished by her husband Patrick D. Whitener of Asheville; daughters, Christie W. Tinsley (Gregory), and Stephanie W. Tecklenburg (Peter) of Charleston; her beloved and devoted siblings Anne Maier (Robbie, predeceased) of Charlotte, Joan Rawls (Tom) of Jacksonville, and William Murphy, Jr. (Mardy) of Asheville; her brothers-in-law Mike Whitener, Jack Whitener (predeceased), sisters-in-law Janie Whitener, Susan Whitener, and Jan Whitener and a number of loving nieces and nephews. Above all, she will be especially missed by her special "angels," granddaughters Catherine and Charlotte Tecklenburg. They love their BB with a special type of love that can only exist between grandchildren and their grandparents. To them she hung the moon, to her they were the most perfect of creations. Bobbie also leaves behind many lifelong friends who were instrumental in supporting her as she valiantly battled her illness.
The family also wishes to extend their gratitude to the compassionate nurses and doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina in her final days.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. at Lewis Memorial Park where a Christian burial will take place. The Rev. Mr. Michael J. Zboyovski and the Rev. Robert Lewis will officiate. A reception will immediately follow the service at The Country Club of Asheville.
Her family will receive friends from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Groce Funeral Home, Patton Ave.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to support the vital cancer research of her hope warrior, and dedicated oncologist, Dr. John Wrangle at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, 18 Bee Street, MSC 450, Charleston, SC 29425.