Marionette Whitehead Spain
Marionette Whitehead Spain, 89, a 14-year resident of Lake Prince Woods, passed away peacefully and quietly during the early evening hours of April 18, 2017 following a brief stay at Obici Hospital. She was born in Southampton County the oldest child of Leland and Lucille Whitehead, and she was raised an old fashioned country girl on her parents’ farm near Sebrell, VA. She survived the passing of both her parents and of 2 younger brothers, Leonard and William Whitehead. Marionette graduated from Courtland High School in 1945, and went on to attend James Madison University (then Madison College) and a business college in Richmond, VA where she sharpened her secretarial skills. She married her husband, William James (i.e., “Jimmie”) Spain, Jr. and they lived in Drewryville and Franklin, VA before moving to Suffolk in 1956 where they thrived for the remainder of their lives. The couple raised three sons, Edward Huland Spain, William James Spain, III, and Shea Meredith Spain, and they had 4 grandchildren, James, Nicholas, Meredith, and Jamie Spain, and one great grandchild, Lana. When not raising her sons, Marionette devoted her time to volunteer community service activities, entertaining friends and business associates of her husband in the home, and varied recreational activities including tennis with many friends around the Suffolk area. She had a deeply held, lifelong interest in home furnishing and interior decoration and prided herself in decorating and arranging her homespace.
The family wishes to express our profound appreciation and love for the many fine professionals who have enriched and supported her lifestyle in recent years, especially during the 6 years since the passing of her husband. These include the staff of Lake Prince Woods and in-home aides from Home Instead, and members of her final care team at Obici Hospital who are too numerous to mention individually here. We are also very appreciative of the many devoted friendships she maintained both within and outside the Lake Prince Community.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that charitable donations be made to either of 2 entities: 1) the Lake Prince Relief Fund which her husband contributed to upon his death, and 2) the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts (contact Jackie Cherry at 923-0003 ext 3026 or SuffolkCenter.org) which Marionette and her husband helped to establish and maintain.
A visitation will be held Friday, April 21, 2017 from 7-8:30 PM at R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory 509 W. Washington St., Suffolk. A memorial service and reception will be held Saturday, April 22, 2017 at Lake Prince Woods Main Building 100 Anna Goode Way, Suffolk between 3-5:00 PM. Marionette will be buried next to her husband in Suffolk’s Cedar Hill Cemetery. No gravesite services will be held. Condolences may be offered below.
R.W. Baker & Co.
509 W. Washington St.
Suffolk, VA 23434
Lake Prince Woods Main Building
100 Anna Goode Way
Suffolk, VA 23434