By Donna Springer

Vera A. Whiteside, 88, of passed away  March 15, 2019 at her home in Shiloh, Illinois

Vera who began competitive running at age 48, loved athletics her entire life.   Vera was the honorary matriarch of the Road Warriors (Scott AFB) running group, was a proud member of Team 180,and the Saint Louis Track Club. She inspiring countless athletes to realize their personal fitness goals.  Over a span of twenty two years, she medaled in the National Senior Olympic Games. She enjoyed watching her sons, Nick and Everett, run cross country at Mount Vernon Township High School, and continued to be active in cross county,  supporting the Mount Vernon Township High School program for over 25 years

Vera received her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois,  her Master’s Degree in Library Science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Carbondale, Illinois. Vera worked in education most of her life,  finishing her career at Wayne City High School as a Librarian and Scholar Bowl Coach and at the Mammoth Department Store as a book keeper for 21 years before retiring.

Vera is survived by her sons, Everett Whiteside and wife, Haley,  of Pensacola, Florida and Nick Whiteside and wife, Bridget of O’Fallon, Illinois; grandchildren, Bryson Whiteside, Riley Grissom, Patrick Grissom, Liam Whiteside, Brody Whiteside, and Evelyn Whiteside; two nieces, Janine Mathai and Colleen Childrey; and nephew, Jeffrey Pennington. Members of the Whiteside family have graced the Metro Saint Louis running scene for many years.

( Adapted from Hughey Funeral Home hugheyfh.com Obituary).

Vera transferred to hospice care during the last weeks of her life, and was cared for by her son, Nick.  Jeff Bockhorn, of Team 180, visited Vera at her home in February. He described her as coherent, and still having “that sparkle  in her eyes.”

“She told me that her body is failing but her mind is sharp. She  was a big part of the 180 Energy runners, “ Jeff said in his 2/17/19 Facebook post.

A Visitation was held  Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at Hughey Funeral Home in Mount Vernon, Illinois, with a  memorial service following. Memorials may be made to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or to the Audubon Society.  ( Adapted from Hughey Funeral Home hugheyfh.com Obituary).