Earlene McGiffin

Earlene McGiffin

Leatha Earlene Whitehead Sheridan McGiffin, beloved sister, aunt and mother, left this life on March 12, 2012 , and returned to her Heavenly Father and the loving arms of those who preceded her.


Earlene was born January 25, 1923, in Eureka, Utah, to Mathias Earl Whitehead and Letha Perry Whitehead.  The family moved to Grace, Idaho, when she was six months old, and she had a wonderful time growing up in Gem Valley.  She had fond memories of riding her horse, Old Snowball, to elementary school in Bench, Idaho, and graduated from Grace High School in Grace, Idaho, in May 1941.


After high school, Earlene attended LDS Business College in Salt Lake City, Utah, after which she obtained employment at Bamberger Railroad where she worked for eleven years. She also worked at Burroughs’ Adding Machine Company for a few years and Utah Oil Company for ten years.

Earlene 1944


She married Frank Sheridan, Jr., on August 26, 1950.  They divorced April 24, 1956.  She married her friend and sweetheart Harold Earl McGiffin on April 28, 1962, in Elko, Nevada.  They were sealed in the Logan Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on June 2, 1970.  They moved to Bellevue, Washington, on August 23, 1966, and lived there the rest of their lives. Harold died May 1, 1980.


When Earlene married Harold, she not only became a wife, but also the mother to two girls, Janet (Bill) Sears and Judy (Gary) McDonald, and a son, Jim (Kathy) McGiffin.  Her three wonderful stepchildren also allowed her to become a grandmother to eight grandchildren and twenty great-grandchildren.


Earlene and Harold

Earlene is also survived by her sister Charlin (Lionel) Harrison and two brothers, Boyd (Roma) Whitehead and Thayne (Claudette) Whitehead, as well as many nieces and nephews who adored her.


Earlene was very gifted and shared her talents in music, sewing, knitting and crafting with many.    She was happy to make dresses for dances for her friends and family’s teenage daughters, and her tree skirts, snuggies, afghans and quilts will be keepsakes for many.  She always welcomed people into her home and her hospitality can’t be matched.  She will be missed!


Services will be held Saturday, March 17, 2012, at 12:00 p.m., at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4001 Island Crest Way, Mercer Island. The burial will be in the Grace, Idaho cemetery.

One Response to “Earlene McGiffin”

  • Larry Sears says:

    I fondly remember Grandma McGiffin from a couple of family trips out west in the 70’s. She was very sweet and kind. I found Grandpa McGiffin to be somewhat intimidating at times, but Earlene put me at ease.

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