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Emily Dekle Whittle Wakefield

Emily Dekle Whittle Wakefield, 95, of Cordele, GA formerly of Albany, GA, died January 27, 2021 at the Fellowship Home at Cordelia Manor in Cordele, GA. Graveside funeral services will be held Saturday 11:00 AM at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Thomasville, GA. Dr. John G. Smith, III will officiate. Social distancing will be required and masks will be provided.
Emily was born on April 27, 1925 in Cordele, GA to S.M. and Minnie Dekle. She graduated from Crisp County High School and continued her education at South Georgia Normal College (now Valdosta State University) graduating in 1945.
She married W.L. “Bill” Whittle, Sr. in 1947 and they made their home in Thomasville, GA. After Mr. Whittle’s untimely death in 1967, Emily moved to Albany, GA with her five children to be closer to her sister, Joan Riles, and family.
Emily taught in Thomasville and Albany schools including Eastside Elementary and Deerfield-Windsor School until her retirement in 1980. Emily found great companionship with her very special friend, Mr. Julian Lay, until his death in 1999. In July 2001, Emily married Matthew Wakefield and they made their home on Lake Blackshear until entering Fellowship Home in 2014.
Em, as her family called her, was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and aunt. Her blue eyes lit up whenever her family saw her. Her family watched her live out a true faith in God as she persevered with a smile and a grateful heart no matter what she was going through in life.
In addition to her parents, Emily was preceded in death by her brothers, Mr. Franklin Dekle, Dr. George Dekle and Dr. Marcus Dekle, her sisters, Jeanette Adams, Barbara Sowell, and Joan Riles, a daughter, Jodi Whittle Schulte, a son, Dr. David Whittle and her husbands, Bill Whittle and Matthew Wakefield.
She is survived by her children, Melanie Whittle Smith and her husband, Dr. John G. Smith, III of Lake Blackshear, GA, W.L. “Len” Whittle, Jr. and his wife, Martha of Leesburg, GA and Cecily Whittle Bates and her husband, Garry of Albany, GA, a daughter-in-law, Mariruth Whittle Thomas and her husband, Marshall of Albany, GA, a son-in-law, Tom Schulte and his wife, Linda of Cumming, GA, a sister, Jane Dekle Cunningham of Warner Robins, GA, a sister-in-law, Anne Dekle of Atlanta and her grandchildren Brian (Kelly) Smith, Whit (Molly) Smith, Leah (Bret) Eddins, William (Ashton) Whittle, Tommy (Sarah) Schulte, David (Jessie) Schulte, Cassie (John) Kerr, Caroline (Brad) Weldon, John David Whittle, Jr., William Bates, Kelli (Austin) Payne great grandchildren, Rex Smith, Poppy Smith, Kirksey Cannon Smith, Mac Ford Smith, Elizabeth Eddins, Owen Eddins, Whit Kerr, Carter Kerr, Jack Weldon, Reed Weldon.
Emily will lie in state at Mathews Funeral Home on Friday from 9am until 5pm for family and friends to visit.
Those desiring may make memorials in memory of Emily to Reflections Hospice, 202 E. 4th Ave., Cordele, GA, 31015.
To sign our online registry, or to send condolences to the family, you may visit Mathews’ website at www.mathewsfuneralhome.com.