Mary Lou Whitten Auxier, Oak Ridge

Mary Lou Whitten Auxier of Oak Ridge died June 8, 2024. She was born on January 28, 1933, in Auburndale, Florida. 

She was preceded in death by her first husband of 55 years, Leonard G. Whitten, Jr., and her second husband of 11 years, John Auxier.

She is survived by her two children; Leonard G. Whitten III (Hillary) of Denver, CO, and Linda Stinnett of Oak Ridge, and two

granddaughters, Jennifer Stinnett and Whitteny Stinnett. She is also survived by Barbara Auxier Turner (Jim) of Watkinsville, GA.

In her forties, Mary Lou made the decision to obtain a college degree and strive for a career of her own, and she enrolled at the University of Tennessee. She graduated with a degree in Accounting at the age of 46 with High Honors and became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She began her career as an Auditor with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and then accepted an Auditing position with Union Carbide in the 2nd year of her career. She held increasingly responsible positions within the Y-12, K-25, and X-10 complex over the next two decades. She was the first female Foreman of Stores at K-25 and eventually became the Director of Finance at K-25. She retired from Lockheed Martin as the Business Manager for Reindustrialization.

 After her retirement from full-time work, she continued to work part-time with the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET) for several years. Mary Lou was a long-time supporter of church and community events. During her career, she was selected as the 1997 Chairperson of the Lockheed Martin United Way Campaign. In 2017, Mary Lou was recognized for 30 years of service to Rotary and by the Rotary Heritage and History International Fellowship (RHHIF) as the 3rd woman worldwide to become a member of the RHHIF Hall of Fame. She was named as a Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow. She continued to attend the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club meetings as often as possible. 

She was an active member of Chapter R of the P.E.O. and was a long-time member of First United Methodist Church. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Mary Lou will be most remembered by her friends and family as a caring, giving, loving person. She was generous with her time, and loved being with friends. Her love of dinner parties was legendary, and she hosted them frequently into her 90’s. She also loved being with family at the beach, doted on her granddaughters, and loved going out to dinner. She will be most missed by those she touched in her journey through this life. 

Mary Lou requested cremation and will be interred in a private family gathering. A Celebration of Life will be held on June 29th at 1:30 pm at the First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge. Mary Lou continued to actively support the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge (founded by Mary Lou and her 2 nd husband in 2010) up until her death. Her wish was for any memorials to be made to the Free Medical Clinic (116 East Division Road, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, or online at fmcor.org/donate).

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