On Tuesday, January 5, 2021, Helen Elaine Tyrone Whitley passed away at the age of 93. She was born March 22, 1927 in Prentiss, Mississippi. She graduated from Prentiss High School then completed her education at the Mississippi State College for Women where she was selected for Who's Who in American Colleges of 1948. She moved to Baton Rouge in the early 1950's where she worked as a buyer in the ladies department at the Dalton Department Store on Third Street. She married John Whitley on November 7, 1953. Her son Tyrone arrived in 1954 and her son Jay was born in 1956. She gave up her career to be a wife, mother and dedicated homemaker. She was a member of the Baton Rouge Junior League working on the creation of the Baton Rouge Arts and Science Center. She supported her husband's work as vice president of Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance Company with her loyal attendance and social skills at meetings and travel events. Her support extended to her son Jay's playing days as a center on the LSU football team from 1974-1978. She hosted numerous players for meals and parties as well as attending home and away games with her friends Bob and Ann Stout. Helen was a member of University United Methodist Church then later at First Methodist Church. After her husband John's death in 2000, she had a long friendship with Dr. Bruce Baer until his death in 2016. Helen was preceded in death by her father, R.E. "Abe" Tyrone, her mother Merdie Mae Tyrone and her husband, John Beal Whitley. She is survived by Dr. John B. "Jay" Whitley, Jr. and his wife Elizabeth Whitley and their children Rachel, John, Robert and Caroline as well as her son Tyrone Andrews Whitley and Amy Whitley and their children Jillian and Benjamin. There will be no visitation due to covid restrictions however the family will greet masked visitors from a safe distance outside the First Methodist Church starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 16. Service with proper seat spacing will begin inside the church at 11 a.m. Burial services will be held at Brady Cemetery in Prentiss, Mississippi at 3 p.m.
Published in The Advocate from Jan. 9 to Jan. 16, 2021.