Leona Mae (Risley) Whitson

March 10, 1935 ~ September 9, 2019 (age 84)


Leona Mae Whitson, age 84, made the journey home to be with her Lord on September 9, 2019. 

She was born on March 10, 1935 in Floresville, Texas to Katy Schmidt and John Risley.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Katy and John Risley, a granddaughter, Abigail Grace Young, and two brothers, Elmer Risley and Carl Risley.

Left to cherish their memories of Leona are her husband of 66 years, Joe Whitson of Alice, Texas; two daughters, Debra (Lane) Brooks of Alice, Texas and Karen (Steve) Young of Houston, Texas; two grandchilden, Keely (Shane) Senft and Dalton Brooks (Emily Reierson) both of San Antonio, Texas; two sisters, Lorene (Fred) Beicker of Falls City, Texas and Curlene Stanley of Alice, Texas; two brothers, Frank (Toni) Risley of Poteet, Texas and John Risley of Alice, Texas as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Leona worked throughout her lifetime with the Alice Independent School District as an office secretary and then as a teacher’s aide. She was loved by all of the students and was an invaluable resource to teachers.

At a young age, Leona became a Christian and was devoted to the Lord throughout her lifetime. She and Joe were faithful, active members of the First Baptist Church. She sang in the church choir, taught Sunday School, GA’s, Vacation Bible School and just about every other role that was available. Her greatest ministry began when she retired from the school district and became a member of the Bereavement Committee at the church. This became her fulltime volunteer job where she helped organize meals for people who had lost a loved one and were in the midst of planning their funeral services. She brought great comfort to others through this ministry.

Her smile was infectious. She was always laughing, making others smile and selflessly giving of herself. She was indeed what Christ calls us to be.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 13, 2019 at Holmgreen Mortuary Chapel.

Funeral Service to be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at First Baptist Church in Alice, Texas with Pastor Zach Tharp officiating. Interment will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park in Alice, Texas.

Arrangements are entrusted to Holmgreen Mortuary, 2061 E. Main St., Alice, Texas.

Condolences for the family may be offered at and shared via Holmgreen Mortuary Facebook.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Leona’s passions: First Baptist Church Bereavement Committee, 501 E. Second St., Alice, Texas 78332 or to STCH Ministries, Borcher Cottage, P. O. Box 759, Beeville, Texas 78104.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Leona Mae (Risley) Whitson, please visit our floral store.


September 13, 2019

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Holmgreen Mortuary Chapel
2061 E. Main St.
Alice, TX 78332

Funeral Service
September 14, 2019

10:00 AM
First Baptist Church
501 E. Second St.
Alice, TX 78332

Interment following funeral service
September 14, 2019

Roselawn Memorial Park
East Hwy. 44
Alice, TX 78332

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