- April 29, 1930 - November 28, 2016
- DeWitt, Arkansas
of Gerald's Passing
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Memories & CandlesPrevious
“I will never forget the quirky little remarks that he would say to our class. He told us once to keep our "hamburger hooks" off of something on his...Read More »
1 of 19 | Posted by: Greg Griffie - Kansas City, MO
“My Whitcomb wasn't only one of my favorite teachers he was my favorite neighbor. I have fond memories of trick or treating at their house and...Read More »
2 of 19 | Posted by: Mary Gordon - Kansas City, KS
“Mr. Whitcomb was by far the best and smartest teacher i ever had. His most important message was to think for yourself. Miss you Sir.
3 of 19 | Posted by: Steve Allen - Springdale, AR
“God's speed and tail winds Gerald. Peace
4 of 19 | Posted by: Norman Faith Jr. MSGT USAF Ret. - AR
“So sorry to hear of Jerry's death. Know that all are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this time of grief. I remember Jerry with...Read More »
5 of 19 | Posted by: Joey Pedigo - Oklahoma City, OK
“Many prayers for family and friends of Mr. Whitcomb. He was such sweet man that loved all. I'm so proud to had him as teacher at DeWitt High School....Read More »
6 of 19 | Posted by: CHARLENE HARRIS - morrilton, AR
“What an amazing man. He gave so many of us not only a love of science, but the ability to think and question. His personality was contagious and his...Read More »
7 of 19 | Posted by: Tressie Britton - Jacksonville, AL
“Gerry and I were roommates for two weeks in Hunstville, AL for a NASA workshop for teachers. I could have had a private room but chose not to; one...Read More »
8 of 19 | Posted by: Bob Feurer - North Bend, NE
“Mr. Whitcomb was my teacher at Dewitt high school. He not only taught me about science and computers but also life skills. I loved listening to his...Read More »
9 of 19 | Posted by: Amy Watkins - Dewitt, AR
“My condolences to the family. He will be missed by our entire town ..
10 of 19 | Posted by: Debbie Trussell - De Witt, AR
“Many times in my life God put special people in my life to help me along; Mr Whitcomb was most special. We spent many hours standing in his driveway...Read More »
11 of 19 | Posted by: Darrell Weathers - Arkansas City, AR
“This breaks my heart. He was such a large part of my life, especially on the nights at the river with Mr Charlie. He taught me a lot and I loved...Read More »
12 of 19 | Posted by: Krista Dotter - Dewitt, AR
“Gerald Whitcomb was an excellent teacher and a mentor to many of us who were interested in pursuing a career in science or math. He had a strong...Read More »
13 of 19 | Posted by: Mike Grabbe - Tucson, AZ
“I worked with Mr. Whitcomb when he taught at the local high school. I was saddened to hear that we have lost a special person who enriched the life...Read More »
14 of 19 | Posted by: Louise Mannis - DeWitt, AR
“Mr. Whitcomb was a great computer teacher. i always enjoyed his class!! he had a great way to get you to learn what he was teaching!! He will be...Read More »
15 of 19 | Posted by: Donna Morgan - Student
“Joel and I had a great fondness for Gerald. Sam loved his dry whit and enjoyed visiting with the family, while attending high school. He will be...Read More »
16 of 19 | Posted by: Mavis Ferguson - Benton, AR
“Mr. Whitcomb was a great teacher..he made everything so interesting you could not help but learn. He was a wonderful person and a friend to everyone....Read More »
17 of 19 | Posted by: Ken and Gail Doles - Walnut Ridge, AR
“So many memories, I wouldn't know where to begin! I just loved him...! Thinking & praying for you all & am so very sorry for your loss. Sending...Read More »
18 of 19 | Posted by: Rebecca Bryant - Bryant, AR
“I was sorry to hear of Gerry's passing and have many fond memories of seeing him at Uncle Jack and Aunt Meredith's house.
19 of 19 | Posted by: David Essex - Georgetown, SC
Essex Funeral Home
Gerald Redden Whitcomb, age 86 died November 28, 2016 as a result of a fight with cancer.
He and his twin brother George H. were born into the large family of George Louis and Enid Alzine Redden Whitcomb at the family farm south of Cedar Point in the Kansas Flint Hills on April 29, 1930.
He is survived by his wife Kay LaCotts Whitcomb, daughters Susan Whitcomb of Alexandria, VA, and Jane Whitcomb of Maumelle, AR, a younger sister Rhoda Whitcomb of Forney, TX, a younger brother Marcus of Lincoln, NE, and two granddaughters.
After high school, he attended engineering school at Kansas State U where he was a member of Sigma Tau and Steel Ring honorary engineering fraternities and TKE social fraternity. He also served as president of the KSU agricultural engineering student association.
After college, he joined the Air Force and flew fighter aircraft for 6 years, then was a service manager for Layne-Arkansas Company and a field test engineer for Massey-Ferguson and for Oliver Corporation. He taught mechanics at the DeWitt Rice Belt Vocational School, was a customer engineer for IBM and became a certified FAA aircraft mechanic. He taught FAA Airframe and Powerplant courses at SAU-Tech in Camden, AR, for 5 years and continued to study and teach related technical courses during that time.
In 1966, with little formal training, he accepted a teaching position in science and math at DeWitt High School. He later said that he was never at home in the classroom and would rather be fixing the heating and cooling systems. In spite of that and or reasons not easily explained, he said he felt an intense obligation to every student who walked into his classroom.
In his later years he was appointed chairman of the DeWitt Municipal Airport Commission where he was involved in a number of building projects and in the upkeep of the facilities. In 2014, the municipal airport was renamed Whitcomb Field. He was active in the Lions Club, sang in the Chancel Choir at Methodist Church , taught Sunday School, and continued to fly his "Puddle-Jumper" past age 86 when he needed help to climb into the cockpit.
A memorial service will be December 2, 2016 at 10:00 at the First United Methodist Church in DeWitt with internment in the DeWitt Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the DeWitt First United Methodist Church, 608 S. Grandview Dr., DeWitt, AR 72042 or to Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 6439, Americus, GA, one of many organizations which he helped to support.
Cremation arrangements by Essex Funeral Home. www.essexfuneralhome.com
1405 S Grandview Dr De Witt, AR 72042
Tel. (870) 946-3104