On August 9, surrounded by family at home, Muriel went home to be with Jesus. She and her husband moved from their home in St. Petersburg, FL to Sparta, TN in May of 2019 to live with their daughter, Barbara and her husband Chuck.
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Muriel was born in New York City and at the age of 5 weeks, she and her family returned to the Panama Canal Zone. In 1943, when she was 17 years old, she went to work for the United States Navy. One of the fondest memories was catching a ride on the USS Enterprise as it transited the Panama Canal. She lived and worked in Panama until the age of 28, when she and her family moved to Florida.
Upon returning to Florida, Muriel met and married her husband of 62 years John Whitman. Muriel sold tupperware in the 70's and 80's and rose to the position of District Manager. She was President of the ABWA and was honored with their Woman of the Year award. Her other accomplishments include: President of the Panama Canal Society and President of the Kenneth City Homeowners Association. In her 70's, she dabbled in local politics and was eventually elected to serve as a Kenneth City Council member. At the age of 80, she ran for Mayor of Kenneth City, FL and won.
John and Muriel traveled extensively-often returning to Panama. Throughout her life, Muriel held many roles. And, though she often "wore many hats," Muriel always regarded her most important roles as that of wife and mother (to her three children). She was, admittedly, a people person, and she loved to help others.
She is preceded in death by: her two parents, Gus and Pauline Holmelin; brother Gus; sister Jean; and son William Arnold Sr.
She is survived by: her husband John Whitman; daughters Pauline Arnold of Walling and Barbara Lancaster (and her husband Chuck) of Sparta; her sister Frances Haile (her husband David) of Blairsville, GA; grandson John Arnold (his wife Amy) of Trinity, NC; grandson William Arnold Jr. ( his wife Ashley) of High Springs, FL; grandson Devin Umberger (his wife Rebecca) of Cookeville; grandson (Teague Umberger ( his wife Ashley) of Doyle; and step-grandson Ryan Lancaster of Inverness, Florida. Additionally, Muriel had many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews, all of whom she loved very much. She will leave behind many friends and family.
Her family wishes to thank: Avalon Hospice, St. Thomas Medical Partners, Hamptons Crossroads Baptist Church family, and Lisa Gibson for the special help during this time.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
Online condolences may be made to the family at oaklawnmemorial.com