Lela Patricia Waites

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Dec. 26, 1938 – Jan. 18, 2018


God gave Eve the highest calling of all — that of wife and mother.

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BATON ROUGE — Lela Patricia “Ditty” Waites, 79, a longtime resident of Baton Rouge, died Thursday, Jan 18, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn., of unexpected health complications following a joyous Christmas, a 79th birthday celebration and a happy New Year’s Eve with family.

A celebration of Ditty’s life will be 12:45 p.m. Saturday at Healing Place Church Annex, 19202 Highland Road in Baton Rouge.

A reception will follow the service.

Mrs. Waites was born Dec. 26, 1938, in Ferriday, the daughter of George and Myrtle Williams. She was the fourth of five siblings, all born in Ferriday.

Nothing defined Ditty more than her Christian faith — best expressed in one of her favorite Bible verses: For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

In 1959, Ditty married the love of her life, James W. “Jim” Waites Jr., in Orange, Texas. The two were introduced by Jim’s dad, “Coach Waites,” who spotted Ditty arriving next door to visit her sister and boldly arranged an introduction. He apparently had good intuition — Ditty and Jim were happily married for 54 years, most of it living in Baton Rouge, the community they loved dearly.

As a young wife and mother, Ditty found great joy in being “supermom” not only to her three sons, but to countless kids coached over the years by Jim in fast-pitch softball and football leagues. She was a tireless manager and event planner for team celebrations and was “road mom” when they travelled to distant states for regional and national competitions. Ditty and Jim were honored by lifetime friendships with a number of the players and their parents.

Active in Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, Ditty was enthusiastically committed to community service projects. And when she and Jim weren’t doting on their six grandchildren, they were also master gardeners supplying abundant fresh veggies to friends and neighbors.

Mrs. Waites was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; three siblings, George Williams Jr. of Natchez, “Polly” Henley of Orange, Texas, and Harlene Ash of Newport Beach, Calif., and Baton Rouge; and eldest grandson, Justin, of Nashville.

Survivors include three sons, Brian of Baton Rouge, his daughter, Sarah, and her mother, Jenny Waites Landreneau, Kyle of Nashville and wife, Joline, and their sons, Levi and Luke, and Eric of Nashville and wife, Stacy, and their children, Jacob and Jaiden; one brother, Royce Williams of Pine Junction, Colo.; two brothers-in-law, Bill Waites of Fort Worth, Texas, and Keith Henley of Orange, Texas; and 13 nephews and nieces.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the youth sports organization of your choice.