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Lina Janet Witherspoon

Posted on 1/12/2017, 5:45 PM

CARRIER MILLS -- Lina Janet Witherspoon, 89, died at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Harrisburg Medical Center.

Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday Jan. 14, in Lakeview Cemetery in Carrier Mills with Pastor Larry Mullinix officiating. There will be no visitation. All family and friends should go directly to the cemetery.

Felty Funeral Home in Carrier Mills is in charge of arrangements.

Lina was born April 4, 1927, in Harrisburg to Henry Benjamin and Lenora Jane (Taborn) Cole.

She graduated as valedictorian of her class in Carrier Mills and received a scholarship to attend Southern Illinois University. After studing for some time, she decided to marry the love of her life, Sam Evans Witherspoon. They were married for 71 years, raising two children, Charles Evans Witherspoon and Dr. Melodye Witherspoon Wehrung of Massachusetts.

Lina was known for her fiery spirit and love for developing the beauty of the countryside in the historic Lakeview community. She brought that community to national attention through the documentation of the many historically rare acres owned and occupied by free men of color prior to the Civil War. She will join many of the descendants of these proud families in Lakeview Cemetery, which surrounds Mount Zion Baptist Church, where she was a lifelong member.

Evidence abounds in her love for the country life by the beautiful gardens that caused many passersby to slow and admire the lush splashes of color from exotic flowers that also entertain butterflies and birds, and the constant wagging tails of pets.

Mrs. Witherspoon was an amazing cook. For years, she helped organize her large extended family to gather from all over the country to sample each other's homemade ice creams, sherbets, cakes, pies and her husband Sam's barbecue and fish. Generations of children grew up with memories of Memorial Day ice creams eaten on the grassy slopes of Mount Zion, while their parents embraced, year after year while decorating the graves of their proud ancestors.

At Lakeview Cemetery, this Memorial Day will include dear Lina among the long line of spirited men and women who model for generations to come, a people of honor, faith, community and intelligence.

Mrs. Witherspoon was preceded in an earthly death by her parents; sisters, Corintha, Marcella, Artie and Lucille; and brother, Vincent.

She lives in the hearts of her husband, Sam of Carrier Mills; son, Charles, and daughter, Melodye, both of Massachusetts; grandsons, Dustan Witherspoon of Carrier Mills and Colin Wehrung of Boston; nieces and nephews, Myron, Phillip, Anthony, Kirkland, Connie, Rachel, Nikki, Olga and Lenora; and a host of cousins and friends.

Memorial services will be conducted at a later date.