Baby Child 02

Emri Ellis Whitaker

July 5, 2021 ~ November 1, 2021


Emri Ellis Whitaker, age 3 months and 27 days, passed peacefully cradled in the arms of her parents, Jim and Ashalyn Whitaker. Emri fought valiantly through multiple Congenital Heart Defects, three open heart surgeries and many procedures before she left to fly with the angels on November 1, 2021. 

Emri is the little sister to Mac Stephen Whitaker. In their short time together, Mac shared his brotherly love and sweet smile as he taught her all about the solar system and Halloween. His presence brought a calm to Emri. 

Above all else, Emri knew the most enduring love of all from her parents. During their time together, they treasured every second with their baby girl. They fought so hard right alongside her. Together, the three of them watched every Disney movie, picked out her Outfit of the Day, shared stories, made beautiful memories and so much more. 

Emri was deeply loved by everyone that knew her.

The family would especially like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of the St. Louis Childrens Hospital CICU.  During her 119 days there, many of Emri’s care team became part of her family. Emri was known as the unit’s fashion icon with her signature giant bows and matching swaddles. Often doctors and nurses would stop by just to see Emri’s Outfit of the Day. This is not to mention that throughout her care, everyone knew exactly who was in charge. Emri made that clear with her sassy attitude and side-eye glares when she just had enough of the tests and procedures. Each CICU staff member will forever hold a special place in the hearts of her family

When she was but a twinkle in her Mommy and Daddy’s eye, Emri was loved to the moon and back. That love has grown through the Heart for Emri Facebook page and as her journey brought thousands of folks together in love and prayer. In addition, Emri is a pioneer in the treatment and repair of infant heart valves. Her procedure, performed by Dr. Pirooz Eghtesady, was the first in the world and will contribute to saving the lives of many babies for years to come. 

The infant daughter of James and Ashalyn Ellis Whitaker, Emri Ellis Whitaker, passed away in St. Louis, Missouri on November 1, 2021. She is survived by her parents, brother, Mac Whitaker; paternal grandparents, Steve and Kim Whitaker of Wentzville, MO; two maternal grandparents, Jan and Porter Wheeler of Bolivar, MO, Jerry and Hollee Ellis of Ozark, MO; six great-grandparents, Larry James of St. Peters, MO, Lee James of St. Peters, MO, Travelle Whitaker of Ewing, MO, Jack (Louise) Bauer of Fair Grove, MO, Kenny (Debbie) Davis of Walnut Grove, MO, Homer (Laura) Ellis of Aurora, MO;  She is preceded in death by her great-grandparents, Roger Whitaker and Twila Ellis.  

A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, November 7th from 12:00 PM (noon) to 3:00 PM at Pittman Funeral Home-Wentzville.

In lieu of flowers, Emri’s parents request that a donation of  new blankets or afghans be made for the Heart Center-St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Donations will be accepted at the funeral home.




To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


November 7, 2021

12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Pitman Funeral Home
1545 Wentzville Parkway
Wentzville, MO 63385

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