Elma Esther Stamper-Whisman, 97, residing in South Bend, passed away at 7:30 am Saturday, October 24, 2015 at Portage Place in South Bend. She was born January 3, 1918 in the Upper Peninsula, MI to the late John Peter and Esther (Rentola) Lauri, and has resided in the South Bend area since 1953, coming from Koontz Lake, IN.
Elma graduated from Rock High School in Michigan. She then attended Minnesota State Teachers College, which was later renamed University of Minnesota at Duluth. While in college, she was editor of the college newspaper and selected to the Court of Honor. Elma then attended Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, where she did her post graduate work.
In 1941 in Dixon IL, Elma married Victor Hugo Stamper, who preceded her in death. She later married Virgil Whisman in 1974 in South Bend, who also preceded her in death, as well as her sister, Jennie; and brother, Toivo. Survivors include her two children, Andrea (Gary) Whitfield of South Bend and Mark (Gail) Stamper of Granger; three grandchildren, Paul, David and Matthew (Michelle) Stamper; and three great grandchildren, Ava, Austin and Adalyn.
Elma worked as a housekeeper, governess and apartment manager before teaching for over 35 years. Her career included Harlem High School in Rockford, IL, Merrillville High School and Rockford Business College. However, the majority of her teaching career was in the South Bend Community School Corporation, where one of her principals said, “I have never guided and directed any of my teachers more easily and satisfactorily.”
In keeping with Elma’s wishes, there will be no funeral services. Palmer Funeral Home - Hickey Chapel and Southlawn Cremation Services are assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the Stamper and Whisman families at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.