Cover photo for Emogene Whitten's Obituary
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1930 Emogene 2024

Emogene Whitten

November 16, 1930 — May 9, 2024

Ainsworth, Nebraska

Emogene Whitten, devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend, sewed a life legacy of family, Christian service to others, creativity and a fun element of spunkiness.  She entered her heavenly home on Thursday, May 9, after a short battle with cancer.   The threads of her life began November 16, 1930 in Rayville, Missouri, born to Eula Beryl Happy and Robert Edwin Happy. She was the middle child with brothers, Bob and Norm, all close in age.  All three were born at home on the farm just behind the church.  They attended the Turnage grade school where all three siblings rode Tony, the pony, to school. Her parents divorced when she was young, and family values of hard work and independence were stitched closely by their mother and maternal grandparents, Ora (Hankins) and Jesse Ann Turnage. For a while, they all lived together in a two-bedroom house.  Emogene & her mother shared the extra bedroom; the boys took turns sleeping on the sofa or living room floor.  

Emogene graduated from Richmond High School in 1947, then attended Central Business College in Kansas City for two years.  She first worked for Central Surety Insurance in Kansas City when she later met her loving husband of 62 years, John Lynn Whitten, a WWII veteran.   They were bound together in marriage in 1951. Their first child, Michael Lynn, was born in Kansas City, where they made their first home.  Later on, they moved to Omaha where Marsha was born. Omaha would be their home for nearly all of their married life, where she patched together the fabrics of family life.

Her family was her greatest joy. She and John enjoyed bowling weekly, playing pinochle, and regular dining out with family and friends.   The family wove through the hilly trips to Missouri to visit both their families and spend holidays together. She was Den Mother when Michael was in Cub Scouts.  When the grandchildren came to visit, they were always treated to a trip to the zoo! During their retirement years, Emogene and John enjoyed living on an acreage near Blair, forming close friendships with the neighbors and loved bus trips to visit all the states. She adored cats and always had one or two as feline family members!

Church was her second home. She quilted patterns of faith, joy, dedication, and office pranks through her 30 years of service, working in the education office, secretary to the music ministers and secretary to various pastors.   She was active in UMW, Sunday School, many committees and especially any project that involved missions.  She and John went on numerous mission trips, forming more deep friendships. In the community, she volunteered at Tip Top Thrift Shop and Uta Halee Home for Girls until it closed.

Quilting was her third love.  She made stoles for many of the pastors and choir. She was part of The Cottonwood Quilters, the ‘4-Corners’, State Guild and The Stitchin’ Sisters.   She and her daughter enjoyed being part of the “Blair Bunch” to attend the annual Nebraska State Quilt Guild Convention for many years.

Emogene was preceded in death by her husband, John Lynn Whitten, son, Michael Lynn Whitten, grandson, Tony Mikel Day, mother, Eula Proffitt, brother, Norman Happy, nephew, Monte Happy, Step-Father, Robert Profitt, Step-sister, Peggy Fuqua and other family and friends. Those remaining to cherish the colorful pattern of Emogene’s life are: daughter, Marsha & son-in-law, Philip Fuchs of Ainsworth, grandson, Dustin Fuchs of Mukilteo, WA, brother, Robert Happy of Excelsior Springs, MO, other family and friends.

Love is the thread that binds us together.  Memories are stitched with love.      


A Memorial Visitation was held on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at the Hoch Funeral Home in Ainsworth.  A Celebration of Life Service was held on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the First United Methodist Church in Omaha. The Rev. Monita Truman officiated at the event.    Reflections were given by Rev. Dr. Don Bredthauer.  Mark Kurtz was on piano and sang the songs of “Blessed Are You” and “Joy Comes With The Dawn.” Marie Meyers was the organist.   The congregation sang the song, “Give Thanks For Life.”  Memorials were suggested to the family in Emogene’s name for a future designation.    Hoch Funeral Home of Ainsworth was in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be left for the family at          

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Emogene Whitten, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, May 16, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Hoch Funeral Homes Inc. - A

1320 E 4th St, Ainsworth, NE 69210

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Memorial Service

Saturday, May 18, 2024

11:30am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

7020 Cass St., Omaha, NE 68132

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