Obituary for Ruth “Jessie” Belle Whitmer

Ruth “Jessie” Belle Whitmer, of Safford, entered into eternal rest in the late-night hours of Oct. 30, 2021.  Jessie was born on March 13, 1942, in Flagstaff, Arizona to Walter Angus Shivers and Ruth Blevins Shivers and later joined by her half-siblings, Melody, Mike, Marvel, Nate, Nichole, and Natalie.

Jessie attended schools in Coolidge, graduating in 1960.  On Aug. 9, 1961, Jessie married her eternal companion, William Verl Whitmer, in the Mesa Arizona Temple and the couple was blessed with six children; Afton Duane, Pamela Ruth, Cynthia Lynn, Lenora Ann, Sharon Renee, and Mary Vanessa.

Jessie treasured spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Her family was her greatest accomplishment, and it shows in each of their faces.

Ruth “Jessie” Belle Whitmer

She is survived by her children, Afton “Duane” Whitmer, Pam (Jimmy) Frost, Cindy (Marc) Layton, Lenora (Lee) Gordon, Sharon (Michael) Ashford, and Mary (Austin) Richardson; 26 grandchildren, and 26 great-grandchildren.

Jessie was preceded in death by her beloved husband, William Verl Whitmer; her parents, Walter Angus Shivers Jr., and Ruth Mary Blevins; step-father, Duane “Diz” Chelsey, and her grandson, Afton Joshua Whitmer.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made to Wild Horse Haven Rescue in Safford at

A viewing will be held Tuesday evening, Nov. 9, from 5 until 7 p.m. at the McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel and again on Wednesday morning, Nov. 10, at 9:30 a.m., followed by the funeral service at 10:30 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mt. Graham Chapel located on Highway 191 in Safford. Interment will be in the Safford Cemetery following services.

Arrangements are being cared for by McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel located at 112 E. Main St., Safford, Arizona, 85546, 928-4281740,