Erna Josephine Albert Wheeley, 89
Erna Josephine Albert Wheeley, 89 ,passed away on August 11, 2020 at Diversicare of Batesville. She was born December 18, 1931 to Frazier Harris Albert, Sr. and Bertie Asora Swaw Albert. She was born in the White Hill Community of Whitehouse, TN just outside of Nashville, TN and was raised in the Tyree Hollow area surrounding Whitehouse, TN. She married Buren Ray (BR) Wheeley on December 18, 1947.
Erna (Nonnie) loved to sew clothes for her grandchildren. She was an accomplished seamstress who won many awards for her sewing at the Mid-South Fair and the Tennessee State Fair. She was gifted in making flower arrangements and quilts, which won multiple awards. Annually, she decorated Christmas Trees that were dedicated to the Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital auctions. Nonnie also loved to collect porcelain dolls and antique bowls. She would rather have an old doll or bowl than to have anything else. While most families had new cars, we always got 80-year-old “new” furniture.
She really valued growing up during the depression and the lessons she learned about living. All the kids will tell you that she spent hours and hours sewing at the kitchen table. She also knew how to put on a great holiday meal. Her cornbread dressing was absolutely the BEST EVER; she couldn’t make cornbread fast enough. Chris would eat her fried green tomatoes right out of the skillet, BR would do the same with her fried okra.
“Nonnie” was very outspoken and she would let you know what she thought, even if you didn’t ask. If she didn’t approve you knew it. She was very protective of her family and was always there if you needed her. She was not afraid to get outside her comfort zone. She was friends with Eddie Arnold, Burl Ives and one time even called Norman Rockwell, and to her surprise, he answered the phone. She was an interesting book and will be deeply missed by all that knew her.
Left to cherish her memories is her loving family, which includes her four sons, Daniel Ray Wheeley and wife Marilyn, Laddie Pat Wheeley and wife Brenda of Cedarville, AR, Timothy Randall Wheeley and Christopher Albert Wheeley of Coldwater, MS; twelve grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren; one great-great grandchild ; five brothers, Frazier Harris Albert and wife Nancy, William Thomas Albert and wife Billie, Jerry Dean Albert, Samuel Albert and wife Brenda, and John Albert and wife Melissa. She was preceded in death by her husband, BR in 1984, her only daughter Erna Sharon Wheeley Davis in 2011, her infant son James Michael Wheeley in 1954, her granddaughter Erin Michelle Wheeley in 2005; two sisters Shirley Garrett and Rebecca Albert and one brother George Albert.
A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, August 15, 2020 at College Hill Presbyterian Church Cemetery. 339 CR 102. Oxford, MS 38655. COVID mandates will be strictly observed. Attendees at Mrs. Wheeley’s graveside service will be required to wear mask, per request of the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials be sent to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN. Ray-Nowell Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.