Janis Champion Whatley was born October 27, 1940 to Beatrice and Buford Champion. She was born at home in the Weaver Community near Timpson Texas. When she was about two years old, the family moved to Longview, where her Dad worked for the Borden Milk Company. She loved protecting her brother and playing with her sister outside they had a wonderful upbringing with amazing family memories. Her birthday parties were always Halloween themed. When she was about nine the family transferred to Corpus Christi. She started school in Corpus at Menger Elementary. She made new friends easily and was always bringing new kids home with her. New pets too. Once when trick or treating, she received a new kitten as one of her treats. Needless to say, that treat had to be returned. It came with lots of excitement and left with lots of tears. Another time, she came home from school with a baby opossum which was loaded with fleas. Her mom gave it a flea bath before they drove it out to the country to be set free. She attended Menger Elementary, Wynn Seale Jr. High, and W.B. Ray High School. After graduating from Ray in 1959, she went to work for CPL Energy. She would soon meet Richard Whatley while working in downtown Corpus. Jan worked in a building near where Richard worked and after many smiles were exchanged he was able to get her number from a co-worker. In August of 1966 Jan agreed to have coffee with Richard. With lots of dates that followed, the two were married June 03, 1967. Living in a few different cities throughout their marriage South Texas has always been home. Jan and Richard were blessed with two children. Jan took great pride in being a mother and a wife. She was an amazing chef in the kitchen leaving many recipes for her family to cherish. Jan and Richard moved to Odem in 1969 to be closer to family. Jan was always involved in her church teaching Sunday School and singing in the choir. She also had a great group of ladies she played Bunco with all the time. Her home was open to all and no matter how late it was she would make food for all the kids, especially her homemade pizzas at 2am. She loved to entertain and so her home was always filled with guests and plenty of food for everyone. In 2004, Richard and Jan moved back to Corpus to be closer to their children. To all of her grandchildren she was know as "Mimi" ! Mimi loved all her grandchildren and they loved her. They took every opportunity to stay with her and never left without getting one of her tasty grilled cheese sandwiches. Her love for cooking carried over to her grandkids and so many great memories of their time with her. Jan and Richard enjoyed a wonderful marriage of 53 years. Only spending a few nights apart during their marriage the two were always together. Jan was the best wife, mother, grandmother, friend, sister, cousin, aunt, … She leaves a legacy of unsurpassed dedication and love of the Lord for all of us to celebrate her life taking comfort in the memories. Janis Champion Whatley was preceded in death by her parents, Buford and Beatrice Champion. Survived by sister Martha Clark and brother Jerry (Nancy) Champion Loving husband, Richard Whatley; Children, Amanda (Mance) Cutbirth, Richard Jason (Tonya) Whatley; Grandchildren in age order: Cullen Cutbirth, Dakota Stinson, Alexis ( Stuart) Brown, Caroline Cutbirth (fiancé, Thomas Hajduk), Celesta Stinson, Charles Cutbirth, Catherine Cutbirth, Scott Whatley, Colton Cutbirth, Carter Cutbirth; Great-Grand Children: Beau Darling Brown, Holden Brown And numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces & nephews and many other family and friends that she loved. Visitation with the family will be on Sunday, May 31, 2020 from 3:00 to 5:00 P.M. at Sawyer-George Funeral Home. Funeral services will be conducted at 10:00 A.M. on Monday, June 1, 2020 at the Sawyer-George Funeral Home Chapel. Graveside service will be held Friday, June 5, 2020 at Evergreen Cemetery at 3:00 P.M. Serving as pallbearers, Richard Jason Whatley, Charles Cutbirth, Steven Clark, Barry Clark, Jon Whatley, Elliott Pressly. Honorary Pallbearers, E.M. Wood and Boyd Tyndall. A special thank you to Grace Cross and Mirador Retirement Home for all you did her. Donations can be made in the name of Janis Whatley to The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
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