LANCASTER—Aldene S. “Dee” Whichard of Lancaster passed away Thursday, April 23, 2020, at Memorial Regional Hospital in Mechanicsville.
Celebration of Life Services for Dee will be scheduled when her family and friends can safely gather. In lieu of flowers, her family would like to honor Dee with contributions to Lancaster Community Library in her name as a memorial. Donations can be made via http://www.lancasterlibrary.org/give, including a note that the contribution is “In memory of Dee.” Checks may be mailed to Lancaster Community Library, c/o Alice Cooper, PO Box 850, Kilmarnock, VA 22482.
Dee was born May 8, 1950, in Washington, D.C. Her parents were Alden E. and Frances Snell. She was raised in the Bailey’s Crossroads area of Northern Virginia. She attended Jeb Stuart High School and Old Dominion University. Her early working career included Rice’s Department Store, City of Norfolk and Sovran Bank, a predecessor of Bank of America.
Dee met Eddy H. Whichard at the bank in Norfolk and they were married April 20, 1979, in Norfolk. Dee adopted Eddy’s two sons, Russell and Scott Whichard. Dee later gave birth to Amanda and Emily. Dee was a stay-at-home mom until the girls entered middle school, at that time she became a physical education aide at Providence Elementary School in Virginia Beach.
Dee and her family lived in Virginia Beach until Eddy’s work took them to Charlotte, N.C, Jacksonville, Fla., and Providence, R.I. When Eddy retired in 2003, they moved to Lancaster County.
While living in Barrington, R.I., (around 1998) her neighbor talked her into taking quilting lessons. Dee became an avid quilter and participated in various quilting guilds in the Barrington area and later in the Lancaster area. She loved to attend quilting shows and quilting retreats. She held various leadership positions in the guilds. She would have sew-cations in her sewing studio as frequently as possible with her niece, Mindy, and sister, Melanie. Quilting was an acquired skill and she became a very accomplished quilter.
Dee was a volunteer at the Lancaster Community Library. She loved books, was an advocate for children and the library’s bookmobile. She worked in the Attic Used Book Store and supervised activities until recently. She would typically work one day per week but the Attic was on her mind during the week, answering calls from other Attic volunteers.
Dee worked in the Grace Yard Sale Furniture Department with Eddy as cashier and she brought friends with her to assist during the crush of customers during the four-hour sale each year.
She was a committed Episcopalian and a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Kilmarnock.
Dee is survived by her husband of 41 years, Eddy H. Whichard; her sons, Russell H. Whichard and Scott S. Whichard of Virginia Beach; her daughter, Amanda K. Swisher of New York City, son-in-law, Michael E. Swisher, and granddaughter Avery J. Swisher; her daughter, Emily V. Partlow of Front Royal, son-in-law, Keith A. Partlow, granddaughters, Gwenevere N. Whichard and Riley N. Partlow; and grandsons, Chase H. Partlow and Cian J. Partlow.
She is also survived by her sister, Melanie A. Hitch (also an avid quilter) of Kettering, Ohio, brother-in-law, Dr. David Hitch, and nephew, Charles Hitch and his family of Marietta, Ga.; niece, Kathryn Rentz and her family of Tipp City, Ohio; sister-in-law, Janice W. Barber of Virginia Beach, brother-in-law, Sheridan M. Barber; nephew, Ryan Barber and his family of Fishersville; and niece, Mindy Camp (also an avid quilter) and her family of Clifton.
At earlier times in Dee’s life she loved caving and downhill skiing. During the last 17 years she loved extended RV camping trips, hiking, zip lining and indoor skydiving. Her most favorite RV camping trip was to Inuvik, Northwest Territory, Canada—240 miles north of the Arctic Circle. She really enjoyed visiting quilt shops across the county and never passed a Starbucks without stopping during her travels.
Dee was a member of the NSS (caving association) and attended 62 of the 70 Old Timer Reunions held over Labor Day each year. She was extremely proud of this accomplishment.
Dee provided strong support and advice to Eddy during his career and his volunteer activities. Dee and Eddy were best friends who just happened to be married.
Most of all, Dee loved her family, especially her children, Amanda, Emily, Rusty and Scott and her five grandchildren, Gwen, Riley, Chase, Cian and Avery. She worked to be a great wife, mother, mother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, grandmother and aunt. She loved the many friends she made over the years who now reside across the US. Dee never met a stranger and she was fast to befriend others.
Dee loved and is loved by all who knew her and we are blessed to have had her in our life journey.