A memorial service for long time Claremore resident William “Bill” Whitenton will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at the First Presbyterian Church. Visitation will be today from 5-7 at the funeral home. Bill passed away on Saturday, April 28, 2013. He was 98 years old.
Born on June 10, 1914 in Stillwater, Okla, Bill was the son of Robert and Nelle (Counts) Whitenton. He was reared and educated in his birth community. Following his graduation from Stillwater High School, he attended college at Oklahoma A & M which is now Oklahoma State University.
In college Bill lettered in tennis earning his membership in the prestigious “O” club. While attending college he worked for a surveying company. During this time Bill met Faye Wood and they married on June 24, 1937 in Tahlequah, OK. Their union was blessed with three daughters, Gail, Nancy and Patty. From 1939-1944 Bill managed a large livestock and agriculture farm located at 91st and Memorial in Tulsa. In 1945 the family moved to Claremore, OK where they made their home for 68 years. Bill began his 27 year career as an OSU Extension Director in Adair County and then transferred to Rogers County as OSU Extension Director when Claremore became home, and then retired in 1971.
In his free time Bill enjoyed calling at square dances all over northeastern Oklahoma. He was a loyal member of Claremore Rotary Club and attended 300 consecutive meetings. He earned the Paul Harris Fellow award from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. He was also a member of the Claremore City Council.
Free time found him volunteering for Meals on Wheels for many years and as a true “people person” Bill loved not only his coworkers but the meal recipients he helped. He and wife Faye also enjoyed travel and their annual fishing trips to Mexico. Together Bill and Faye traveled through much of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. One of their longer trips was a 20 day trip to Panama. And though the sceneries were breathtaking and full of adventure, the very best part for both Faye and Bill was the opportunity to embrace being together.
This husband, father, grandfather and friend will be missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his children Gail Highfield of Tulsa, Nancy Rumbaugh and husband Bob of Claremore, Patty Cobb and husband Bruce of Claremore; his grandchildren Clay Cobb and wife Stephanie, Brenda Highfield, Amy Evans and husband Roger, Bill Cobb and wife Kimber, Carol Moshiri and husband Matt, Tom Highfield, Mike Rumbaugh and wife Jennifer, Brian Highfield; his 13 great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death on April 13th 2013 by his wife of 75 years, Faye, his parents, two brothers, one sister, and son-in-law Rex Highfield.
In lieu of flowers or other condolences, please consider sending a donation in Bill Whitenton’s name to the Claremore chapter of Meals on Wheels at 715 McClellan Claremore, OK 74017 or any other charity of your choice.