Oleeta Lavonne “Bonnie” Slocum Whitman Mapes, born July 7, 1927 was the only daughter of Leon and Venna Slocum. She grew up learning to fish (which she loved), garden, farm and cooking. She graduated from Hastings High School. Oleeta married Robert S. Fox and they had one daughter, Dawn Marie Fox before they divorced.
While working at Kellogg Company she met and married Jay L. Whitman. They loved to fish and camp and roller skate. After a few years of marriage, they were blessed with Rietta Lynn Whitman, Randy Lee Whitman and Lonnie Dean Whitman. Their life included teaching Sunday School and junior church at Hope Nazarene Church. She baked many cookies for kids church parties.
She was very active in her grandchildren’s lives. She attended many school functions, dance recitals and parties. She was often known as “Grandma’s Taxi.”
With children grown, her mom lived with her before passing. She also cared tenderly for Jay in his last days.
She married Dale Mapes and they were together for about 10 years. In her working years, she was a spot welder for a Hastings stamping firm, picked and packed worms, worked in packing at Kellogg’s and in her later life worked as a caregiver for Kelly’s Home Health.
Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents; children, Rietta, Randy and Lonnie Whitman, Jay Whitman and Dale Mapes.
Bonnie is survived by a daughter, Dawn Cuyler; grandchildren, Lavonne (Steve) Pearson, Dennis Hantz, Jessica Hantz, Nickolas Whitman, Zackery Whitman, Worden (Bree) Cuyler and Nellie Cuyler; great-grandchildren, Morgan Milam, Dylan Reniger, Brooklyn Reniger, Andrew J. Candelaria and Harper Cuyler; son-in-law, Paul Squires and friend/caretaker Stacey Loser.
A graveside service to celebrate Bonnie’s life will be 2:00 p.m., Thursday, September 14, 2023 at Hicks Cemetery, officiated by Pastor Travis Davis. Arrangements by the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.