Monday , October 08, 2012 - 11:29 AM
Intha Ophelia “Toni” Whaley of Riverdale is being honored for her 90th birthday. All friends, past and present, and family may attend an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Riverdale church, 1056 W. 4400 South.
She was born in Kelsey, Texas, on Oct. 11, 1922, to Victor Carl Hamberlin and Effie Lavinia Irwin. She and her 10 older siblings knew the meaning of hard work by maintaining their farm in east Texas. All her siblings have since died, and she is referred to by her nieces and nephews as “The Last of the Mohicans.”
She enlisted in the U.S. Army (Women’s Army Corps) in 1942 and was the first female member of the military police force to carry a .45-caliber handgun.
After her enlistment, she met and married Wiley Daniel Ethridge. They raised five children: Luana West, Victor Ethridge, Don Ethridge, Arlis Ethridge and Mike Ethridge.
Several years later, she met and married Sterling Elmer “Bud” Whaley. They served an LDS mission in the London Temple and several years as ordinance workers in the Ogden Temple. He died in 1999.
She stays active by bowling in two leagues twice a week and attending the LDS temple twice a week. She has 20 grandchildren and 40 great-grandchildren.