C. "Toni" Whitesell, 76, died Monday, August 22, 2011 at the Burke Palliative Care Center. She was born in Palm Beach County, FL on October 8, 1934 and was a daughter of the late Frank E. and Nioma Parrish Mize. In addition to her parents, Toni was preceded in death by her husband of fifty-nine years, Claire A. Whitesell, Jr.Toni attended St. Mary’s High School in Miami, FL, and entertained troops at USO functions with her musical talents. She was a past president of the Burke County Board of Realtors and owned her own real estate company. Toni was an advocate for special needs children and was instrumental in the building of The House of Refuge Homeless Shelter. She was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and was active in many ministries there throughout the years.Surviving are sons, Joseph Whitesell of Morganton and David Whitesell and wife, Jill, of Watkinsville, GA; daughters, Liz Grant and husband, Gary of Columbus, GA, and Kathy Whitesell and Debby Whitesell both of Morganton; sister, Roberta "Cookie" Letourneau of Enfield, NC; grandchildren, Marni Jennings, Michael Grant, Christopher, Joshua, Cameron, Mattie, Callie, and Emma Whitesell; and great-grandchildren, Patrick and Paige Jennings.The funeral Mass will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday, August 26, 2011 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church with Fr. Kenneth Whittington officiating. A sign language interpreter will be provided for the funeral service. The family will receive friends from 12 noon until 1:00 p.m. Friday at the church with a rosary to be said for Toni at 11:40 a.m. At other times the family will be at the residence.In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 728 W. Union St., Morganton, NC 28655, or The House of Refuge, PO Box 1371, Morganton, NC 28680, or Burke Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc., 1721 Enon Rd., Valdese, NC 28690. Sossoman Funeral Home & Crematory Center is assisting with arrangements.
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