JoElla Whitehead passed away rather unexpectedly on a Saturday afternoon after what she described that morning as “her first trip ever to an emergency room.” JoElla along with her life love, Bob Whitehead, were residents of Cameron Airpark, Cameron Park, California. JoElla was born to Floyd and Clara Schlumbohm in Sayre, Oklahoma, their sixth child of eight. They moved to California during The Great Depression, which molded JoElla’s young life in many ways, paralleling the same experiences chronicled by Steinbeck’s ‘Grapes of Wrath’. Hard work, resourcefulness, and a godly family were her heritage.
JoElla was a top student in her high school, Sharon Bible School of Madera, California, and after graduating began her life long career in banking before she was 18. In 1950, she met and married, Bob Whitehead, and they built a house at the Whitehead chicken hatchery on Howard Road in Madera. They soon moved to San Jose, California, where she worked at the bank while raising three children and helping put Bob through school at San Jose State. These years were to establish her title as “Super Mom,” a successful career woman, raising her three children, and keeping things together while enhancing her reputation as an exceptional cook and pastries baker. Even at 85, she could make a feast, and there was little she couldn’t do, physically and intellectually. The Whiteheads, it seems, were always attached to growing churches with Bob always “swinging a hammer for God” for many a church building program and keeping the church books. In 1978, they moved back to their ranch in Chowchilla, California, reconnecting to their roots in the San Joaquin Valley, where they both eventually retired from work. They moved in 2005 to Cameron Park Airpark. JoElla and Bob have traveled extensively. They have been to all 50 states, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Israel.
She was preceded in death by her siblings, Ellard, Wanda, John, Bob, Letha Louise, and Lemuel. She is survived by her brother, George. Also, preceded in death was her husband of 65 years, Bob (Sr.). JoElla is survived by her children, Phyllis Jeanette, Bob Jr., Bob’s wife, Karron, and sons, Barry, Dustin, and Eric (wife, Kristin), and Daniel, his wife, Becky and daughters, Cheré (husband, Andrew) and Danielle (husband, Josh). She was blessed with nine great-grandchildren (Barry’s) Lacey, (Dustin’s) Reese, (Eric’s) Taylor and Cullen, (Cheré’s) EJ, Selah, and Judah, (Danielle’s) Titus and Blake.
Proverbs 31 describes many of JoElla’s traits as a “devoted and loved woman of God,” at home and in the marketplace. What an emissary, an example, and an energetic wife, mom, friend, and God-child, JoElla was to all.
Visitation will be held on, Monday, February 12, 2018 from 2:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at Jay Chapel, Madera, CA
Graveside Service will be held on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 9:00 A.M. at Arbor Vitae Cemetery
Memorial Service will follow on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. at Valley West Christian Center, Madera, CA