Nadine Irene Whiteman, 89

Nadine Irene Whiteman, age 89 of New Hampton, died Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, at New Hampton Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, at Holy Family Parish in New Hampton, with the Rev. Brian Dellaert celebrating the Mass.

Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in New Hampton with Steve Merritt, Tom Matuska, Travis Matuska, Eric Matuska, Robert Junko and Steve Junko serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are Jama Pirkl, Andrew Merritt, Joe Junko, Autumn Winegar, and Todd Smith.

Friends may greet the family from 3 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home and Crematory in New Hampton, where there will be a 6 p.m. Parish Scripture Service. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass on Wednesday at the church.

Online condolences for Nadine’s family may be left at

Nadine was born on Jan. 13, 1930, to John and Bessie (Miller) Pitts in Alexander, and she was the youngest of four children.

At a young age, the family moved to New Hampton, where Nadine received her education, graduating with the Class of 1948.

After graduating, she went to work at Fligger’s Bakery in New Hampton, beginning a lifelong love for baking.

On Oct. 26, 1950, she married Francis J. Junko in New Hampton, and the family grew with the addition of four children — Kathy, Barb, Bob, and Steve. The Junkos moved to Lawler in the 1950s and all four of Nadine’s children went to Turkey Valley High School.

Her children remember their mother having a great sense of humor and making the best cinnamon rolls and candies. Her neighbors loved afternoon coffees at the Junkos not only for the conversations but because of Nadine’s prowess when it came to baking.

Nadine and Francis divorced in 1972, and Nadine went to work at Sara Lee in New Hampton, where she worked on the cake line and, as her daughters put it, “spread a lot of frosting over the years.”

She had known Darold Whiteman for years, the two began dating and they exchanged wedding vows on June 26, 1981, in Nashua.

Nadine and Darold were excellent polka dancers, they loved to play cards, they were adventurous as they traveled the country in their RV after they retired in 1990. They wintered in McAllen, Texas for many years, where they made numerous new friends.

Nadine had seven grandchildren, 11 step-grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren, and make no mistake about it, she was the spoiling kind of grandma.

In the early 2010s, Nadine was diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease, which hit her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren hard, because they had known Nadine for so many years as a woman “always on the go all the time.

She will be missed for her sense of humor, her love for her family and, yes, those cinnamon rolls, but her family feels blessed that Nadine is now free and in a better place.

Nadine is survived by her children, Kathy (Steven) Merritt of Williamsburg, Barbara (Tom) Matuska of Cedar Rapids, Robert (Patricia) Junko of Braselton, Georgia,  and Steven (Carol) Junko of Liberty, Missouri; two stepdaughters Cynthia (Herb) Platte of New Hampton, and Susan (David) Rausch of Fort Atkinson; seven grandchildren, Andrew Merritt of Valparaiso, Indiana, Jama (Kevin) Pirkl of Tiffin, Eric (Amy) Matuska of Ankeny, Travis (Tiffany) Matuska of Marion, Todd (Maria) Smith of Braselton, Georgia, Joseph (Samantha Compton) Junko of Homestead, Florida, and Autumn Winegar of Overland Park, Kansas; and 11 step-grandchildren, Jesse (Ashley) Platte, Sarah (Matt) Zuke, Curtis (Kelly) Platte, Amanda (Jason) Wolter, Ashley (Eric) Reicks, Brian (Alex) Rausch, Andrea Rausch, Nicholas Rausch, Kristopher (Sara) Rausch, Haillie (Trent) Reicks and Emily Rausch.

She is preceded in death by her parents; her husbands, Francis Junko and Darold Whiteman; two brothers, Rollie Keeler and Calvin Pitts; her sister, Phyllis Potter; stepson Larry Whiteman; and grandson Nicholas Merritt.

New Hampton Tribune

10 North Chestnut Ave
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone: (641) 394-2111

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