March 7, 1936 - March 1, 2024

Lorna Jean Whisler

LORNA JEAN WHISLER was welcomed into God’s Kingdom on Friday, March 1, 2024. Born on March 7, 1936 at the family home in Rozet, Campbell County, Wyoming. Lorna grew up on the family farm that was homesteaded by her grandparents Riley and Vida (Duvall) Whisler in 1922, seven miles north of Rozet, Wyoming. She attended 1st grade in Rozet; grades 2nd – 7th in a one room county school named the Whisler School; 8th grade in Rozet and grades 9-12 at the Campbell County High School where she graduated in May of 1954.

After graduation Lorna went to work at the Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Company where she was a switchboard operator for five years, until the company began converting to a dial system. She then went to an airline stewardess training school and while there she was recruited to work for the Federal government.

In 1959, Lorna moved to Washington, D. C. and began a 36-year career with the Department of the Navy. She spent her entire career working for the Bureau of the Navel Personnel located at the Arlington Annex building along the south wall of Arlington Cemetery. Lorna began as a GS-03 Clerk Typist and retired as a GS-12 Personnel Management Specialist. During her career, she received a number of awards and recognition. Her major accomplishment was receiving the Navy’s Superior Civilian Award for work with the Automated Travel Orders Task Force. She retired on November 5, 1995.

In April of 1996, Lorna arrived in Natural Bridge, Virginia. Her home was located about 5 miles from where five Great Grandparents lived along Plank Road bordering Cedar Creek from 1792-1835 prior to moving west to Wayne County, Indiana.

In 1953, Lorna was baptized and a member by profession of faith at First Presbyterian Church, Gillette, Wyoming. In 1970, she became a member by reaffirmation of faith, John Calvin Presbyterian Church in Annandale, Virginia where she was ordained as Elder and served as Ruling Elder. In April of 1999, Lorna transferred her membership to High Bridge Presbyterian Church, Natural Bridge, Virginia where she served as Ruling Elder from 1999-2001, 2011-2013 and 2015-2017. She was elected as Clerk of Session in 2001 and again from 2012-2021. She also served as Moderator of High Bridge Presbyterian Women Coordinating Team and PW Enabler/Coordinator on The Peaks Presbytery Presbyterian Women Coordinating Team.

Beginning as a child with being dropped off at the George Amos Memorial Library on Saturday mornings for story hour and at the Fiesta Movie Theater in the afternoon when the family made its weekly trip to town and until her passing Lorna has been an ardent reader and fan of movies. Her favorites were historical fiction and all movies (especially western, historical and musical). Along the way she developed a love of history, especially family and local history. Beginning in the 1960s, she added genealogy research to her passion list. Over the years as she traveled collecting names, photos, places they lived she unknowingly was creating source material for books she would later compile. After the age of 80, Lorna wrote and published three books, Pleasant Valley Cemetery aka Little Iowa Cemetery; 100th Anniversary of (2017), The Heptner Sisters; Wyoming School Teachers (2019) and Rozet, Campbell County, Wyoming and its Homestead Families (1880-1949) (2022).

Lorna is preceded in death and reunited with her parents Carroll Duvall “Slim” and Irene Lydia (Heptner) Whisler, sisters Arlou Leona and Pearl Margaret and special family Lannie Ballard. She is survived by her sister Olive Carroll Whisler of Daleville, Virgina and special family Loretta Ballard of Natural Bridge, Virginia, Lisa Ballard and Ron Judge of Roanoke, Virginia (children Marc and Kaile) and Lowell and Gayle Ballard of Richmond, Virginia (children Aiden and Tressa) and longtime friend Jean Thacker of Leeds, England with whom a friendship began through a pen pal exchange of letters in 1952 and continued until Lorna’s passing.

A Celebration of Life memorial service is scheduled for 11 AM, Saturday, April 6, 2024, at High Bridge Presbyterian Church, 67 High Bridge Church Road in Natural Bridge, Virginia.

Lorna respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be made to High Bridge Presbyterian Church or the Campbell County Historical Society, Gillette, Wyoming.