Football

James Whittington

December 23, 1940 ~ March 29, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old

James Whittington Obituary

 

                WARSAW- James L. “Whit” Whittington, 83, died Friday, March 29, 2024 at Genesis Hospital in Zanesville.

                He was born Dec. 23, 1940 in Greenville to the late Kenneth Allen and Mary Frances (McGee) Whittington. As a youngster he helped raise hogs before graduating from Ansonia High School in Darke Co. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology from Ohio Northern University, and later a Master’s in Education from Indiana University.

                Jim was a shop teacher for most of his 30 years at numerous high schools. His passion, however, was as a football coach. Over the course of his distinguished career, he held a record of 138-95-7. This earned him induction into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009. Stops along the way included: Van Wert High School, Parkway High School, Bellevue High School, Edison High School (Hall of Fame), River View High School (Hall of Fame), and Norwalk High School.  He also was inducted into the Hall of Fame at his Alma Mater, Ansonia High School. He won the Firelands Conference Championship in 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1981, & 1982.

                It was during his time at Edison that he built the football program into a powerhouse. He also served as Athletic Director there for 9 years, and worked with the boosters to build the entire athletic complex with volunteers. The field house was named for him, and in 2016 an all-new scoreboard was dedicated in his honor with his name on it. During the dedication ceremony, Coach Whit said, “Run the ball and play good defense. I know that has kind of changed over the years, but I still believe you can play full house, two tight (ends) and beat people. The old T. If you’ve got the right people, you can beat anybody.”

                After he had retired from teaching and coaching and moved away to Arkansas, Al Hetrick, his former college roommate and longtime best friend called. He had an assistant coaching spot open and wanted Whit to come to Versailles. The two having the chance to coach together had been a career dream, so Whit coached as an assistant for Al for the 2002 & 2003 seasons. Together in 2003 they won the Division IV State Championship to close out Whit’s coaching career.  Many of his coaches and former players stayed in contact over the years, for which he was always grateful. When people would ask if he had kids, he and his wife would joke, “Yeah, over 800 boys!”

                He was also a dedicated public servant. He lived in Arkansas from 1998-2023, first in Cotter and later in rural Mountain Home. He served as a City Councilman in Cotter, and was Fire Chief at the Cotter Volunteer Fire Dept. and Cotter-Gassville Rural Fire Dept. He was instrumental in helping fund and construct a new, state-of-the-art fire station in Cotter. He remained active with fire department fundraisers after his retirement.

                Jim had other interests as well. He loved boating and fishing, especially at Lake Erie and in Arkansas. He was a long-time wood worker, and a couple years ago he began wood turning. After moving back to Ohio July 2023, he and close friend Jeff Bodine Bredison worked for several weeks to finish a top notch wood tuning shop at his new home. Unfortunately his health took a turn and he was unable to enjoy it. 

                He is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Susan (Shunk) Whittington of Warsaw, whom he married Nov. 10, 1984; a brother, Michael (Colleen) Whittington of Loveland; a sister, Marcia (Terry) Stammen of New Weston; sister-in-law, Sally Majoy of Huron; his “adopted” children, Kevin & Mary Foster of Warsaw; his McGee clan of first cousins; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, & great-nephews.

                In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his grandparents; a brother, Joe (Mary) Whittington; brother-in-law, Ray Majoy; and sister-in-law, Barbara (Roy) Taylor.

                A Celebration of Life for Whit will take place 2:00 p.m. Saturday, May 4, 2024 at the Milan Town Hall in Milan, OH. Fischer Funeral Home in Warsaw is assisting his family. www.fischerfuneralhome.com

                Memorial donations are suggested to the Edison High School Football Program, 2603 State Route 113 E Milan, OH 44826.

                               

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