Mary Jane Whiddon


Mary Jane Whiddon, 87, of Gonzales, Texas, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, August 7, 2023. She was born on February 29, 1936 in Gonzales County to Nina Mae Freeman and Sam Robert Schrieber. She married the love of her life, Kenneth Plowman Whiddon, on June 3, 1954, and together they raised a family of four children, twelve grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

Mary started school in the Smiley community and graduated from Gonzales High School in 1954. During school, she participated in cheer and her granddaughters were smitten with and still love looking at her yearbook photos.  After a three-year courtship, including a one-year engagement, Mary and Plowman married one week after her high school graduation. The two enjoyed a brief honeymoon on the Texas Coast, followed by a move to Center, Texas where Plowman was employed vaccinating baby chicks and running a feedstore.  While living in Center, Texas, the couple gave birth to their first and second born children.  A few years later, they moved back to Gonzales to begin their own poultry business and cattle operation and very soon welcomed their third born child. Living closer to family was important as Mary and Plowman’s family continued to grow. Six years later, they welcomed their fourth born child. At one time, Mary’s career ambition may have been to become a nurse, but she soon decided that being a supportive wife to her husband and mother to four was the best job for her.  Her numerous trips up and down the Pilgrim Road, driving four active kids while keeping up with the family business’s bookkeeping and immaculate housekeeping kept her plenty busy. Mary’s adoring family will attest that her career choice was indeed her calling, and now her legacy.   Later in life, Mary’s favorite pastimes included caring for and watching her grandchildren grow, gardening, canning, furniture rearranging, sewing, writing cookbooks for her granddaughters, camping at area state parks with family and freshwater fishing, preparing fried fish feasts at the Pilgrim Community Center Opry and hosting family gatherings.  Mary was affectionately known as Mama Jane by her grandchildren and their spouses and children.  Four generations, including other family and friends were always welcome in their home on any day, but it was an unspoken tradition that holidays could be spent at Mama Jane and Papa’s house for cheerful company, lots of hunting and fishing tales and you were guaranteed a meal made of love. A true homecoming to all that chose to be there. Mary was a member of the First Baptist Church of Gonzales and Friends of the Pilgrim Community Center.  Mary and Plowman were happily married for 69 years.     

Mary Jane Whiddon is survived by her loving husband, Kenneth Plowman Whiddon, daughter Jackie Lynn Williamson and special friend, Ronnie Zella; son and daughter-in-law, Kenneth O’Dell and Tammy Whiddon; daughter and son-in-law, Kathy Sue and David Shelton; grandchildren: Jeffrey Scott Dolezal, Chris Ward (Akemi) Williamson, Kelli Jane (Albert) Urrutia, Jason Tot (Kelly) Whiddon, Amanda Friedrich (Chad), Christy Diamond, Laurel Ethel Bach, Holly Nicole (Rob) Barnhart, Joshua David (Heather) Shelton, James Clayton Shelton, Lesli Michelle Shelton; great-grandchildren: Kimberly Dolezal, Mei Lynn Williamson, Lion Williamson, Hina Jane Williamson, Ema Sue Williamson, Harua Williamson, Andrew Urrutia, Allison Urrutia, Thomas Barnick, Mattie Jane Barnick, Chelsea Whiddon, Jessica Whiddon, Grace Frederick, Brynlee Frederick, , Lainey Bach, Lilah Bach, Jackson Barnhart, Everly Barnhart, Barrett Shelton, Tawni Shelton, Marli Shelton, Kenneth Robert Shelton, River Van Kirk, Tucker Van Kirk; sister and brother-in-law, Linda and Donnie Mills. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and special caregivers, Nora Matias and Virginia Ramirez.

She was preceded in death by her son Clayton Vance Whiddon; her parents, Nina Mae and Clifton Oliver; and Sam Robert Schrieber; sister-in-law Rae Ruddock, and husband Upton; and niece Sherry Allen.

A visitation will be held at Seydler Hill Funeral Home on Thursday, August 10, 2023 from 5:00-7:00pm. Funeral Services will be held at Seydler Hill Funeral Home on Friday, August 11, 2023 at 3:00pm with Rev. Todd Craven officiating. Interment will follow at Plowman Ranch Cemetery. Pall Bearers: Jeff Dolezal, J.D. Shelton, Chris Williamson, Jason Tot Whiddon, Jim Shelton, and Javier Villegas. Honorary pallbearers: Andrew Urrutia, Dylan Mills, Lion Williamson, Thomas Barnick, Barrett Shelton, River Van Kirk, Harua Williamson, Tucker Van Kirk, Rob and Jackson Barnhart. Memorials may be made to the Pilgrim Presbyterian Church or the Pilgrim Cemetery Association. Friends may leave their condolences to the family by visiting Services are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home.