In Memory of

Faye Mary Whitecotton

September 26, 1939 - August 28, 2014
A beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend passed away in the early morning hours of Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. She was 74. Faye had fallen on July 31 and suffered a broken hip and wrist. A combination of health issues followed, and she died at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls with family at her side. Faye was born to Rita and Floyd Leidholm in Washburn, N.D., and grew up on the family farm outside Washburn, N.D. Her stories of life on the farm were fascinating. Among the best: She used to lay atop one of her favorite cows in the pasture to while away an afternoon while reading a book; after a fox invaded the henhouse, she nursed a brood of injured chickens back to health, and for the rest of the summer this comically disabled group of chickens followed her around the farmyard wherever she walked; her father at times drove her and her brothers Ronnie and Larry to school in a horse-drawn wagon, fire-heated bricks placed in the wagon to keep them warm against the frigid North Dakota winter. Faye graduated from Washburn High School in 1957. She moved to Minneapolis for a brief time to attend school, then moved back home and graduated from Minot State Teachers College. It was while teaching kindergarten at Crosby, N.D., in 1961 that she met her future husband, Walter Whitecotton of Marysville, Calif., who was stationed at Fortuna Air Force Base in Fortuna, N.D. They were wed June 15, 1963, in Washburn, N.D. Over their 51 years of marriage, they lived in Great Falls, Plentywood, Bozeman, Missoula, Billings and Lewistown, Mont., Sacramento, Calif., and Truesdale, Manson, Meriden, Quimby and Larrabee, Iowa. Faye also taught in Black Eagle, Mont., Great Falls, Mont., and Westby, Mont. Three of her children were born in Montana - Terri in Plentywood, Lisa in Missoula and Tim in Lewistown. In 1971 they moved to Manson, and daughter Tina was born in Fort Dodge. It was in Manson where Faye and Walt raised their children. Although she did not return to the classroom, her teaching never stopped. She was a tremendous editor of her children's papers and provided invaluable guidance on all subjects, gently guiding the way to the correct answer while insisting the children did the work by themselves - no matter how hard they begged her to just do it for them. She was a fierce supporter of her children in all their extracurricular activities, and sports were a large part of this. The time she spent sitting on bleachers, where she was a vocal presence, and nursing injuries both physical and emotional in her young athletes can never be calculated, nor would she want it to be. It was a blessing when nearly two decades after watching her last child play for Manson High School, she was able to watch her grandchildren Brandon and Bryce play on the same Manson courts and fields. Again, she was a staunch supporter. It was a particular thrill when the boys played on an American Legion team out of Carroll that won a state championship and played in a regional tournament in her home state of North Dakota. During the Manson years, she was the backbone of Walt's operation as a field manager for a school fund-raising company. While he was on the road working with schools throughout northwest Iowa, she was at home, fielding calls from school secretaries, preparing for Walt's upcoming schedule and making last-minute deliveries to nearby programs. All this while serving in her greatest role: a stay-at-home Mom whose presence was a source of security and grounding for her children, who knew she was always just a phone call away and would be waiting at home for them after school. She loved dancing and gardening and caring for her cats and Tim's dog, Taffy, which she had personally played a large role in rescuing. She delighted in her eight grandchildren. She was an active Granny, sharing her love of crafts and her sense of humor with them whenever they visited. She delighted in defeating Terri's sons Brandon and Bryce in Skip-Bo and Tim in cribbage, and using all those long-ago skills gained as a kindergarten teacher to play with Tina's daughters Jordan, Chloe and Carli and Lisa's children Amanda, Elizabeth and Anthony. She became an avid follower of Iowa Hawkeye basketball, and rarely was a game over for long before a phone call was made to or received from one of her children to break down the game. It was always a comforting presence for her children to know that wherever they were, if they were able to catch an Iowa game on TV, they knew that back in Iowa their Mom was watching, too, and getting just as angry or exhilarated as they were at the Hawkeyes' efforts. Faye is survived by her husband, Walter, of Larrabee, Iowa; children Terri (Terry) Wessels of Palmer, Iowa; Lisa (Armon) Azevedo of Windsor, Calif., Tim Whitecotton of Minneapolis; and Tina (Josh) Danielson of Wesley Chapel, Fla.; grandchildren Brandon and Bryce Wessels; Elizabeth, Amanda and Anthony Azevedo; and Jordan, Chloe and Carli Danielson; and brothers Ronnie (Mary) Leidholm of Washburn, N.D., and Larry Leidholm of Minot, N.D. She was preceded in death by her parents, Rita and Floyd Leidholm of Washburn, N.D. Faye's wishes were to have her remains spread on the family farm in Washburn. Anyone wishing to make a memorial in her honor is asked to make a donation to Siouxland Humane Society, 1051 Tri-View Avenue, Sioux City, IA 51103 or to the animal shelter of their choosing. Online condolences may be sent to the funeral home at
Funeral services for Faye will be held at a later date.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“My apologies for the delay in replying. I am finally back in Hong Kong and catching up on things.
Faye was a good friend and loving person in my life. I first met her in October of 1985. She was showing us all then the strength, courage and love that she had for herself, her family and her husband. She had the courage to do what was right and the humility to understand when to act and when not to. She was loved by many, including myself. I was so happy to tell her last summer in Lake View IA how much she meant to me over the years. She carried her husband and family at times and eventually looked up to him as he grew in spirituality in helping others. She lifted me up at unexpected times and was a good friend and someone I looked up to. I will never forget Faye and Whitey in the corner of the hospital room talking together during our first encounters. She no doubt, was scared, but maintained hope in her husband and love for him and her family. I will miss you Faye and am so grateful God brought you into my life. You, Faye, have helped many through what you have and have not done, with perfect timing. Much love to all the Whitecottons during this time.
- Joe Hoft
Monday, September 8, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“Tim and family, what an amazing mom you got to have. So sorry you lost her. Wish I could've met her. Thinking of you, holding you in my heart. ”
- Lisa Legge
Monday, September 8, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“You remain in our prayers for healing and comfort in the years to is always hard to let our love ones go "Home" as their presence in this world leaves a void in ours.”
- Jerry and Mary Tannehill
Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“So sorry to hear about your loving wife and mother. Please except my deepest sympathy to a former neighbor.”
- Rodney Hall
Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“Whitey, What a shock! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. One day at a time my friend.”
- Pat & Mona Rose
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“Dear Uncle Walter, Terri, Lisa, Tim, Tina, spouses & grandkids: We are sending you healing prayers at the loss of Aunt Faye. She touched so many lives. Take comfort in knowing Heaven is sweeter, more beautiful, and more loving, now that Aunt Faye has arrived. Love, Kathy & Cindy. ”
- Kathy & Cindy Whitecotton
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“We are going to miss Faye. Our family is thinking of and praying for all of you. She was so proud of each and everyone of her children and grandchildren - what an amazing Grandma/Mom. Prayers to you all!”
- Kelly, Jodi, Alex and Sam Leidholm
Monday, September 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“My thoughts and prayers are with you Walt, Terri, and the rest of your family. ”
- Howard Hesse
Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“Sorry for your loss. Faye was such a wonderful person, spoke to everyone no matter who you were. she will be greatly missed.
You are all in my thoughts and prayers.”
- Bonnie L James
Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“My sympathy goes out to Walt and family.She was a special lady.”
- Dan and Bev Reinholdt
Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Let us know if there is anything we can do for any of you.”
- Larry Schreier and family
Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“To Walt & Family - So sorry to hear of Faye's passing. Marv & I have fond memories of Faye and your family when you lived in Manson. Please accept our sympathies.”
- Judy A.Heinze
Friday, August 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“Walt & Family, I was so sad to read of Faye's death. I felt that I knew herby knowing & working with You, Walt. I hope and pray that she didn't suffer. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family at this very sad time. ”
- Dick & Ann Bell
Friday, August 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“We just read of the passing of Faye. We want to send you and the family our sympathy. And we ask God to give you peace and comfort as you deal with the loss of Faye. And we ask God to Bless and comfort you at this time. ”
- Gene and Jan Nelson
Friday, August 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“The last time I saw her was briefly the day she cane down to see my feedbunk of flowers.She loved it so.So Sorry!
she loved it so. We are so sorry pf her passing/”
- Joann&Dick Kelly
Friday, August 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“We are dreadfully so sorry of Faye's passing. We had a little time together the day she came to see my feedbunk flower bed. Sheloved it so and I loved't believe she is gone..”
- Joann&Dick Kelly
Friday, August 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM
“Walt and Family,
So sorry to hear of Faye's passing. She was a wonderful friend . We talked a lot about sewing . She always had something to make for her Grandkids and she loved doing it. Went to a Elvis concert with her and boy did we have a good time. Remember all the good times. I'll miss here visit to the Post Office. If I can do anything let me know. Sally”
- Sally Wilkie
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