Elenora Irene Whittle, best known as Nonie, was born on 8-30-1925 to Terry and Thelma Blazier on a farm in southern Illinois, near Cottonwood, IL. Her family initially lived in East St. Louis, IL., but moved back to the farm the last month of Thelma’s pregnancy to allow her granduncle, a small-town doctor, to deliver Nonie. They returned to East St. Louis where her father worked for Huntley Plastering Company as a plasterer. At eight years old Nonie returned to the farm during the depression and lived with her grandfather and beloved grandmother, Irene. It was during this time that Nonie learned the art of making something out of nothing, better known as “rigging”. It would become a lifelong skill. From Irene Nonie learned rugged farm life but also unconditional love.
Her home church was Trinity Lutheran Church in E. St. Louis which was also attended by the Whittle family. She was a 1943 graduate of E. St. Louis High School. She entered the University of Illinois in Champagne/Urbana where she was a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority. Robert Whittle also attended the same university and waited tables in her sorority. Bob’s sister, Nora, introduced them and they started dating and were married in 1944. Robert received his master’s in Chemistry and then joined the US Navy. They were married on a three day pass after Bob finished his basic training. During 1944 and 1945 Nonie and Bob travelled between naval bases in Virginia, New Orleans, Chicago and California. Their oldest son, Terry, was born in March of 1945 following which they re-settled in E. St. Louis where Bob went to work for Huntley Blazier Plastering Company. Nonie’s parents lived on Natalie Avenue and Bob, Nonie and Terry lived nearby in a duplex until 1954. During this time they added two more children,Jack and Jane. On their 10th wedding anniversary Bob and Nonie moved to 479 Algonquin Place in Webster Groves, Mo. “479” became the family home where Andy and Lisa soon completed the family. Nonie ran her family with grace and ease allowing Bob to focus on his work for Harry Niehaus at Niehaus Plastering Company. She celebrated with him his partnership and eventual ownership of Niehaus Interiors.
Nonie and Bob were founding members and remained active in Webster Gardens Lutheran Church throughout their lives; a church she loved until the day she died.
She will be remembered in the hearts of those who loved her as a loving mother, master of practical problem solving, i.e. “rigger”, professional bargain shopper, a smart, graceful and grace-filled woman and the sweetest person one could ever meet .
So here’s your legacy, Nonie:
Children and In-Laws: Terry & Renee, Jack & Marilyn, Jane & Paul, Andy & Barb, Lisa & Steve
Grandchildren & Spouses: Michelle & Chris, Devin & Kim, Anne, Jake & Lesley, Rachael & Chris, Emily & Craig, William, Scott & Caitlin, Dan & Crystal, Tom & Gary, Kayla & Joel, Audra & Landon, Adrienne, Miranda and Mallory
Great-Grandchildren: Jameson, Daxton, Cole, Carmen, Nora, Vera, Levi, Hank, Elias, Joe, Ryker, Cruz, Clinton, Robert…and more to come!!
Nonie, we will miss you every day.
Visitation at Kutis Affton Chapel 10151 Gravois Road, Tuesday, February 20, 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. Then taken to Lutheran Church of Webster Gardens for visitation Wednesday, February 21, 9:00 until funeral service at 10:00 a.m. Interment Sunset Memorial Park.
Contributions to LCWG Human Care helps individuals in our community who are in need of crisis assistance and support. Checks to be made to Webster Gardens Lutheran Church with Human Care in the memo, Lutheran High School South, 9515 Tesson Ferry Rd. St. Louis, Mo. 63123. In the memo state Elenora Whittle fund, The Belleville Historical Society has purchased the Blazier home for a Mid-Century Modern Architecture Museum or Belleville Historical Society, 633 East Garfield, Belleville IL 62220. Memo: Blazier House Museum.