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Violet Emma Whitmore

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“Ron and I are so sad to here of her passing. She was a nice Lady and I'm sure you will have many good Memories of her. Now she is an Angle in heaven...Read More »
1 of 2 | Posted by: Marilyn and Ron Hitts - MI

“Sorry for your loss. She will be missed greatly, She was a very sweet, kind woman to me and my family. Praying for the family. ”
2 of 2 | Posted by: Shannon Whitmore - Greer, SC


Violet Emma Whitmore, age 92 of Sterling Heights, died Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at the Oakmont Sterling Assisted Living facility in Sterling Heights, Michigan. She was born July 1, 1926 in Reese, Michigan, daughter of the late Gottfried and the late Mollie (nee: Diener) Bessinger.

Violet Emma Bessinger was one of six children: Arnold, Donald and Roland; Rose and Lillian. All are predeceased except for Roland. Violet was second youngest, Roland is youngest of the six.

Violet grew up in a loving home in Saginaw, Michigan. Her father, Gottfried Bessinger and her mother, Mollie Diener, both German immigrants, were married at age 17 in Reese, Michigan. They had lived only five miles apart in Russia.

Her father died when she was 12. She helped her mother with expenses, like all the children who were old enough to work, from age 16. She became a bookkeeper after high school and met her husband, Calvin Whitmore, when he worked there briefly before going off to World War II as a pilot in the Army Air Corps. They were engaged before he was assigned to fly the largest plane, the B-24, over the Himalayas to supply gasoline and other supplies in China, Burma and India. She wrote to him every day.

When he returned, they married and did their part to create the Baby Boom: Jim, Ruth and Jeannine. When Cal got a promotion to Detroit, they moved to Plymouth, Michigan, where their youngest children, Calvin, Jr. and Carolyn were born. In 1967, Violet and Calvin moved to Grand Rapids as part of another promotion, and then to Virginia. In 1971, they moved back to the Detroit area, to Southfield, with her husband's next promotion, and lived there for 47 years.

Violet had a life rich with blessings: loving family, many good and lasting friends, prosperity and travel. Friday night card games with the neighbors were common, as were dinners on Saturday with several couples at favorite restaurants. They traveled often and all over the country, wintering for years in south Texas, and later in Florida. For their 25th anniversary, they took a trip around the world which they never tired of talking about.

Violet was talented at crocheting. It was nothing for her to make 20 complex hats in one winter and a dozen afghans the next. Recently, she got back to quilting, cutting out over 1500 small pieces of many colors for a quilt she put together in one season, then started two more.

She loved to tell jokes and collected them like autographs. We all have our favorites, told in her personal style, which made them funnier.

But mostly, Violet loved to do for others. She tirelessly helped whenever she saw a need. The stories are many, varied yet united by her gift for responding. Her highest compliment was to say that someone was "good-hearted."

She moved to an assisted living home last August, where she made many friends. She started a pinochle club, joined a bridge club, always played bingo and the horse race game, and played piano for the residents. She had a daughter type up the words to songs from her era, the office copied them, and then when she played the baby grand in the living room, she passed out the books so everyone could sing along. And sing they did. She still played ragtime right up to last December. One of the executives, with tears in her eyes, told us, "Violet was well loved. She touched everyone here."

When Violet was a frequent flyer at the hospital in her later years, the nurses often commented on what a stoic patient she was. They mentioned her sense of humor in the face of serious discomfort, and her feistiness when she had to set them straight. Her doctor of many years was her hospice doctor right to the end. He had saved her life twice.

I'm sure her husband of 67 years was there on February 27 when she passed, and we're pretty sure the first thing he said to her was, "Welcome home, Vi! Wait till you see what they've got up here!"

Violet was the beloved wife of the late Calvin James Whitmore. Dear mother of James Alan (Beth) Whitmore, Ruth Whitmore (Stephen) Kremer, Jeannine Marie (the late Charles) Meade, Calvin John (Robin) Whitmore, and Carolyn Mollie (Dale) Mothorpe. She was the loving grandmother of James Jr. (Shannon) Whitmore, Julie Whitmore (Rob) Castillo, Randy (Kimmy) Whitmore, Melissa Meade, Charlie Seth Meade, Jonathan Meade, Justin Mothorpe, Christian Mothorpe, Alex Kremer, the late Karen Whitmore, the late Charlie Meade Jr., and cherished great-grandmother of Aaron Whitmore, Montana Whitmore, Jacob Whitmore, Logan Whitmore, Kaylee Whitmore, and Trinity Castillo. Sister of Roland Bessinger, and preceded in death by Arnold, Donald, Rose, and Lillian Bessinger.

Visitation for Violet will be held Monday, March 4th from 5-9 pm at the D.S. Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home, 30009 Hoover Road at Common (12 ½ Mile Road) in Warren.

Violet's Funeral Service will be conducted at 10:00 am on Tuesday, March 5th at the funeral home. Officiating the service will be Pastor Walter Keller. Following the funeral services, burial will take place at Great Lakes National Cemetery, 4200 Belford Road in Holly, Michigan, with Committal Prayers to begin at 1:00 pm.

Memorial donations are welcomed to the Disabled American Veterans (D.A.V.), 17779 E. 14 Mile Road, Fraser, MI 48026 (www.dav.org).

Please share memories of Violet at her guest book above.