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Obituary: Brittania Sloan Whitehead, North Vernon

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Brittania (pronounced Brittana) Sloan Whitehead first saw the light of day on June 16, 1940, in Indianapolis, IN. She was the third of four daughters born to Zelma Gibson Sloan Highbaugh and Howard Sloan. Her parents and their last daughter preceded her in death. She was married to Clyde Whitehead in May 1999. He died in January 2011. Brittania left the rest of us on November 22, Thanksgiving Day, 2012.

Brittania was known to family and friends as Britt, Britty, or Tana. She graduated from Washington High School and Practical Nursing School in 1999. A dedicated Licensed Practical Nurse for 43 years in Indiana, she worked 6 years at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis, 6 years at King's Daughters' Hospital in Madison, 15 years for Dr. Marvin Dais in Madison, 5 years for Dr. Carroll James in Columbus, and 11½ years at Golden Castings Foundry in Columbus. She retired in 2002 at age 62.

After retirement, she turned her creative talents to knitting on the knitting machines that husband Clyde repaired for both her and her knitting buddies. She knitted three-piece women’s dressy outfits, complete with beads or pearls, along with sweaters, towels, and caps for newborn babies. She got a kick from designing and making elegant one-of-a-kind outfits for duck statues that folks have in their yards. She and Clyde loved to go fishing during the spring and summer and then canning fruits and vegetables for winter months. She was especially close to dogs, cats, and the variety of birds that ate heartily each day from several bird feeders at home.

Britt sparkled with compassion and laughter for family and friends and was a great teaser. She also managed to marry two unrelated fine gentlemen with the same last name. Brittania’s first husband of several years was Noble R. Whitehead, Columbus, IN. They remained friends after their marriage was dissolved.

Brittania was a devoted wife, daughter, sister, niece, aunt, and cousin. She leaves to cherish her memory two sisters, Alice Sloan Cornelison (James), Ellicott City, MD, and Mona Sloan Williams, (Robert III), Andover, MA, nine nieces and nephews, 11 great-nieces and nephews, and the extremely devoted friends listed in the Acknowledgements. In addition, she leaves hundreds of cousins in the Gibson and Sloan extended families throughout the USA.

A funeral service will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, November 30, 2012, at Sawyer-Pickett Funeral & Cremation Service in North Vernon. Rev. Mona Safley will officiate. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Friday. A graveside service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 1, 2012, at Crown Hill Cemetery, at the 34th Street and Boulevard Place location.


The family acknowledges with deep heartfelt appreciation the many expressions of love, concerns, and kindnesses shown to them before and during this time of bereavement. In addition, we acknowledge the extraordinary devotion to Brittania shown by Patricia Valencia, Xantippi Stanley, Pastor Mona Safley and her children Katherine and Elizabeth, Dottie Barkdull, Sherilyn and Michael Locke, Angela Baker, Barbara White, Rev. Thomas Brown, and others we don’t know by name, such as the gentlemen who cut the lawn for Clyde and Britt, and the woman mail carrier. Cousins Attorney Norman “Skip” Weeden, Maria Jones, and other relatives were especially supportive to both Brittania and Clyde for the long haul of their overlapping physical and spiritual challenges. Brittania deeply loved each of you.

We also express sincere gratitude to the caring staff and administrators at Jennings Healthcare Center where Brittania spent the last eleven weeks of her life. We cannot express our gratitude enough to each and all of you. May God bless you always.

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