Treva Mae Whitmore, 94, died on Thursday, Jan. 18 at FirstHealth Hospice House in Pinehurst, N.C. Treva grew up in Advance, Ind., where her father, Alonzo Roahrig, was a Methodist minister, and her mother, Ethel Clara Roahrig (Brumfield), was a homemaker who consistently swept the blue ribbon category at the Indiana State Fair with her jellies and jams. Treva began playing the family piano by ear at the age of three – a passion fueled by a thriving talent that would continue throughout her life. She caught the eye of George Emmit Whitmore, a young veterinarian, while she was tickling the ivories in a honky-tonk in Zionsville, Ind. They married in 1942 and relocated to Beltsville, Md. in 1953 when George became the Chief Veterinarian for USDA’s Agricultural Research Center.
The Whitmores lived in Beltsville, Md. for 55 years, where Treva raised six children and shared her passion for music by cultivating the talent of hundreds of budding young musicians through piano lessons and accompanying choirs, instrumental and vocal soloists and musical theater orchestras. She even appeared in a musical herself once – as the Grandmother in “Pippin” where she sang “Just No Time At All” – an anthem that aptly reflected her own life philosophy with the musical phrase: “Maybe it's meant/ the hours I've spent/feeling broken and bent and unwell./But there's still no cure/so heaven-sent /as the chance to raise some hell!”
Treva and George relocated to Belle Meade in Southern Pines, N.C. in 2008, where Treva frequently played piano for community sing-a-longs. She is survived by daughters Elizabeth Whitmore of Southern Pines, N.C. and Laura Whitmore Brown of Silver Spring, Md., and sons Samuel Whitmore of Hampstead, Md. and George Arthur Whitmore of Washington, D.C., as well as eight grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. She is predeceased by husband Dr. George E. Whitmore and sons John Thomas Whitmore and Robert David Whitmore.
If you wish to honor Treva, the family asks you do so by making a contribution to the Moore County Arts Council Classic Concert Series in her honor. Donations can be provided online at www.mooreart.org or by phone at 910.692.ARTS (2787).