Irene Pritchard Whitman, 76, died Friday, August 28, 2009 following a lengthy period of declining health. She was born in Burke County on March 3, 1933 and was a daughter of the late Jesse Theodore Pritchard and Lorena Pritchard Pritchard. Mrs. Whitman was a long-time member of Drexel Memorial Baptist Church and presently was a member of Brookwood Baptist Church. Irene was a retired employee of the News Herald where she was employed as an inserter.Surviving are her daughter, Diane Mitchell Fruend and her husband, Mark, of Morganton; sisters, Bessie Huffman, Mary Louise Whitman, and Virgie Smith all of Morganton, Margaret Clark of Lenoir, Emma Jean Ledford of Newland, and Minnie Norville of Rutherfordton; grandchildren, Jessica and Bryan Fruend; and special friends, Gail and Wayne Baker of Goldsboro.In addition to her parents Irene was preceded in death by her son, Charles Mitchell; brothers, Simon Lewis Pritchard, James Pritchard, and Jesse T. Pritchard, Jr.; and by sisters, Vernie Smith, Katie Sue Johnson, Ruby Manning, and Sadie Fairchild.The funeral will be held at 12:30 p.m., Monday, August 31, 2009, in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. James Green officiating. Burial will follow at Burke Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the funeral home. At other times the family will be at the home of Diane and Mark Fruend. Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Heights, 109 Foothills Dr., Morganton, NC 28655.

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