Sun City resident Ferris Whitfield has recently published her new book as an ebook on kobo.com and bn.com, coming soon to kindle.
“Life After Death: A Widow’s Journey of Love” is a love story about how Whitfield grew to love her husband throughout their 32 years of marriage, and how after his battle with Alzheimer’s disease she was able to watch him ultimately die, knowing she could not stop the inevitable.
“What happened before that fateful moment,” the book synopsis states, “and what has happened since his death will be told to the best of my recollection. The only way I know to honor his life is to describe how he was before dementia robbed his ability to remember and speak. This extraordinary man served in the USAF during WWII, Korea and Vietnam Wars as a distinguished pilot flying B-17s, B-52s, then once retired, flew B-747s for Transamerica Airlines for 19 years before it ceased operations in 1986.”
The book describes how he continued working until age 82 in various other occupations, but always had an tireless work ethic, which truly defines him in the “greatest generation.”
Whitfield is an Arizona native, born on the Navajo Reservation in Ganado. She moved to Phoenix with her family in the 1950s, graduated from Squaw Peak grade school, Camelback High School, Arizona State University, Phoenix College and from Armstrong Atlantic University in Savannah, GA, then back to ASU-West graduate studies in the first MSW program (incomplete). She has lived in seven states including Hawaii, but always came home to her beloved Arizona.
According to Whitfield, “Life After Death” is “dedicated to [her] late husband MSGT John B. Laner USAF (Ret.) who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, then Transamerica Airlines and various other airlines after Transamerica ceased operations in 1986.”
“He was a distinguished pilot,” she added, “but also had an indefatigable work ethic like Queen Elizabeth II, [who] was my pen pal for 29 years before her passing. Both were born in 1926, both King Charles III and I are the same age, both born in November. (I am ten days older than him.) Her Majesty was appreciative of John flying supplies to the UK during WWII; she was in the military and we both consoled each other after our husbands died.”
Whitfield is a member of the Military Order of World Wars and fought with the VA for four years and eight months to finally receive benefits from the service-related illnesses John developed after being exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Her book entails many hardships after his death, but “with God’s intervention, I am a survivor. The book is about faith, courage, and perseverance, and how I was fortunate to be married to one of the great ‘greatest generation’ members.”