Inell Whitfield Hunter passed on March 29, 2021. She was born May 15, 1943 to parents; Father, Joe Ashton Whitfield Sr. and Mother, Ethel Wright Whitfield Williams in Southhampton County, Capron Virginia.
She is preceded in death by the love of her life, husband William Earl Hunter, youngest daughter Angela Hunter (Cole), her parents, brother Rev. Joe Ashton Whitfield, Jr., brother Philbert Peter Williams, brother Milton Whitfield, and sister Jean Alice Whitfield Taylor (Kitty), grandfather, grandmother, uncles and aunts and best friend Earlene Bruner who were all very dear to her.
Inell, older sister Redell and baby brother Joe were raised by their grandmother, Lena. They loved their grandmother who taught them all about God and his goodness. They were in Sunday school and church every Sunday. Inell’s Grandmother told everyone that she was a loving child who never received spankings, just a good person to know.
Inell attended Capron District Elementary and graduated from Southhampton High School. She attended Norfolk State College (HBCU) in Norfolk Virginia where she met the late William Earl Hunter, a Spartan basketball player. They married July 13, 1963 and moved to Kansas City, Missouri to raise their family. She loved her husband with all of her heart and soul for 40 years until his life ended.
They raised their daughters (Debra Anne and Angela Maria) with love, faith, education, independence, and discipline. Inell loved her role as a mother and was so thankful for the bonds like no other, she shared with each. She loved to shop, cook, travel, and hang out with her girls. Her daughters were her cherished jewels, as she was the best mom and their best friend.
She was employed by Dr. David Warren as the office secretary for one year. From there, she began her career at Union Bank (formerly Southeast State Bank and Stadium Bank) in 1965, as the first black and first black woman hired. She held many positions from Bookkeeping, Teller, Teller Supervisor, New Accounts, Assistant Vice President/Assistant Branch Manager then to Branch Manager/Vice-President in 1985. Inell stepped down to the position of Customer Service Representative / Assistant Manager in 2000 to care for her husband until his passing in 2003. She retired in 2005 after 40 years of dedicated service. A retirement party was held on May 31, 2003 with an entire community in attendance.
Upon retirement, her Call Paper article noted that Inell was looking forward to serving her many organizations such as NAACP, Queen of Sheba Chapter No. 19 (as secretary of the Eastern Star), Altar and Rosary Society at St. Monica’s Catholic Church, Lupus Foundation of Kansas City, Missouri and spending quality time with her grandson, Myles Hunter Davis. After lots of praying, planning, and pondering she stated, ‘The time has come for me to retire’. Her customers commented that “Inell has a big heart, is a very hard worker, highly dedicated and loyal and finds something good in everyone she comes in contact with. She is a jewel and a priceless asset to the community.” She went to the Nursing Homes where her customers resided to get signatures, assuring they did not have to travel to the bank. Customers waited patiently for often more than 30 minutes to have ‘Mrs. Inell’ handle their banking needs – because she gave every customer their own unique service.
She joined the Metropolitan Baptist Church Grief class to help her to manage the loss of her husband. She went on to stay in the class for 5 years assisting others with their healing.
She also recruited her son-in-law Mark to teach a computer 101 course for the seniors of the community at the Lucile Bluford Library that helped her to book her own flights to visit her family in Virginia. Oh, how they fought over who got time with her during her visits. Her big sister, Redell usually won as they are just alike. She managed to see them all between 4 Virginia towns. She adored all of her siblings and never missed sending a birthday card. She had no relatives between Missouri and Virginia.
She went on to work at the Lupus Foundation office helping with mailings, seminars, the annual walk-a-thon and traveling to New York for the Lupus Awareness Legislation Meeting with niece Shirl Page, family friends – the Blands, Manloves and KC Lupus Board Officers.
She moved up the ranks to serve as the Worthy Matron for her Eastern Star Chapter (Queen of Sheba No. 19) for 3 consecutive years and winning the Worthy Matron of the year award all 3 years with the help of her posse. Her daughters begged her to let someone else win! She adored traveling to the annual conventions and serving her chapter.
Inell enjoyed attending all of her grandson, Myles, sporting games, school presentations and especially grandparent’s day events. She taught him how to cook and bake the most amazing cakes in town. She and Angela ‘the Auntie’, gave him anything his heart desired and made sure he could experience every local restaurant. Myles was her air and what fueled her strength to endure. She enjoyed life because of Myles.
Inell fulfilled all of the retirement plans and many more until illness slowed her health down. She survived early detected pancreatic cancer (15yrs), knee replacement surgery, gastroparesis, a stroke, and a year of Covid-19 isolation in a Rehab Nursing Facility. She adored the Obamas and her Chiefs & Royals. She was a loving, giving, selfless, humble and gentle but strong force with never-ending faith for God, her family, her friends, people, and her community.
She leaves a daughter, Debra Davis (Mark), grandson Myles Hunter Davis, Brothers – Payton Williams (Sharon), Donnie Whitfield (Kathy), Dean Whitfield (Peggy), Wayne Whitfield, Sisters – Redell Taylor, Pamela Williams, Brenda Kindred (Jerrell), Jennifer Britt (James), Lisa Baker (Harvey), Samantha Whitfield, many cousins, nieces, nephews and a host of family, friends and forever customers.
Inell just wanted to love on people, make sure they knew God and a touch of happiness.
Funeral services will be held Friday, April 9, 2021, 10:45 am at St. Monica Catholic Church. Interment Forest Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be from 9:00 am-10:45 am at the church. Order of Eastern Star Service next Thursday, April 8, 2021, 7:00 pm at Lawrence A. Jones & Sons Funeral Chapel. Service conducted by Lawrence A. Jones & Sons Funeral Chapel. Condolences may be shared on our website.
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