Transportation 15

Jimmy Whitlock

December 29, 1948 ~ July 7, 2023 (age 74) 74 Years Old


    On July 7th, 2023, we said goodbye to one of the most amazing men we know. Jimmy (Jim) Whitlock peacefully passed away at home, the only place he wanted to be, with his wife, his family, and his beloved cats, after a valiant 6-month battle with cancer.

    Jim was born December 29, 1948, in Klamath Falls, Oregon, to Harvey and Eulalee Whitlock. He was the third of four children, with two older sisters, Nina and Judy, and a younger brother, Rick.  Jim grew up in Klamath Falls. He played baseball and participated in wrestling and track while growing up and he carried his love of sports into his adult years with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He also played slow-pitch softball and basketball, as well as other competitive sports, as an adult on various teams.

    Jim graduated from Klamath Union High School in 1967 and later attended Southern Oregon College and Oregon Technical Institute pursuing an education in engineering. He was drafted into the Army and served in Vietnam, receiving an Honorable Discharge on June 10, 1971. During his service years, he received a Vietnam Campaign Medal w/60 device, a Vietnam Cross of Gallantry w Bronze Star, and an Army Commendation Medal, along with other rifle and gunnery certifications/classifications. 

    Upon his return stateside, he purchased his first great love - a 1971 Sassy Grass Green Plymouth Cuda 340, a car he still owned upon his death. I'm sure many people can remember seeing him cruising Main (when Main Street was still a 2-way street - the only way to cruise in Klamath Falls) in his distinctive car. 

    After his discharge from the service, Jim worked at Weyerhaeuser/Collins and retired from the mill in December 2013, after almost 45 years of employment.

    On December 14, 1973, Jim married Gail Lynn Studebaker and they had two children, a daughter Tobi Lynn, and a son Mark Allen. He was so thrilled to become a father and was so proud of his kids – he loved them so much. During their younger years, Jim coached many of the kids' sports and was always on hand to help them hone their skills in whatever sport they were participating.

In 1986, Jim and Sharon met, and he welcomed two more daughters into his home and heart: Heidi Ann and Tammi Jo – he was an amazing stepdad to the two girls and loved them like his own.  Jim and Sharon had almost 37 years together to create their beautiful life and family. They shared an interest in pool and played together on many of the same teams. They even played softball together even though Sharon had never played softball, couldn’t catch worth a darn, threw a softball like a girl, and couldn’t hit the ball 90% of the time. But they had fun because it was something they could do together. They also managed to do a fair amount of traveling. Some of their favorite trips were to Hot August Nights in Reno (his passion of course – cars) and Las Vegas. Neither one of them were gamblers but they loved to see everything there was to see!

    Jim had so many interests throughout his life:

    Jim participated in the Keno Hill Climb for years, both as a racer and general helper, as well as auto cross with the SSCC. One of the things he enjoyed most was flying up Greensprings Highway in his car or on his motorcycle when the weather allowed. He would often say he was going for a ride and show up hours later after going to Ashland or Tulelake or just riding around for the heck of it. Jim loved going to the Klamath Kruise every year and always wishing that he had gotten the Cuda ready for the current year. His last time out of the house was for the Kruise of 2023 – we didn’t spend much time there, but he was able to listen to the rumble of the hot rods and smell the fumes, bringing back so many memories of times past.

    Jim enjoyed working on, building, and troubleshooting everyone's computers. If you ran into a problem, Jim was the guy to call. He couldn’t always figure it out, but he did his best to help you out. Jim played on various pool teams around town, particularly the Independents, a coed lodge team made up of primarily family members who have managed to win several championships with his help over the years.

    He loved to sing along to whatever music was playing whether it was in his car or anywhere good music was playing, especially his 60s music (the Beatles Yeah Yeah Yeah). He loved to listen to, or dance to any kind of music and you could often find he and Sharon dancing at the Legion, singing to each other to the music, over the years.

    Jim loved working on cars until they made them too darn complicated for a backyard mechanic. Whenever the kids or grandkids had an issue with their vehicles they always headed straight to their grandfather.

    Jim loved joking around and always had a quick response to surprise us with – most often inappropriate but that was Jim. After retirement, he became more involved in the American Legion and served as commander for many years, but also acted as Treasurer, Adjutant and general handyman, whatever was needed, Jim was your guy. He was also a long-time member of the VFW.

    Jim was a truly nice guy.  He was willing to help anyone and everyone at any time if he could. He took in any and all stray cats that showed up on his doorstep. He taught his children and grandchildren to ride their two-wheel bikes and to drive.  He was strong and firm but loving and supportive. One of his
greatest joys was watching his kids and grandkids in whatever activity they were involved in: football, baseball, basketball, soccer, choir, band, cheerleading, ballet, and volleyball. He was an amazing family man and made attending family events a priority whenever possible.  He never missed a birthday, graduation, or other special event -- he was so proud of his family. He was our BBQ guy, our car guy, our go to for everything guy and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

    Jim is survived by his wife, best friend, and partner in life, Sharon, his children (in chronological order) Heidi (Jaime) Guajardo, Tobi (Steve) Bocchi, Tammi (Mark) Edge, and Mark (Jennifer) Whitlock; 9 grandchildren (also in chronological order) Matthew (Krista) Gallagher, Joseph Gallagher, Sierra
Guajardo, Zoee (Tanner) Edge, Parker Whitlock, Jermias Guajardo, Kiarra Guajardo, Anthony Smith, and Logan Whitlock; 9 great-grandchildren, the two youngest being born in 2023 in April and June.  Jim is also survived by his sisters, Nina Paxton and Judy Sexton, and his brother, Rick Whitlock, his father and
mother-in-law, Joe and Mary Lindsay, his sister-in-law Teresa (Keith) Wright, sister-in-law Jackie Weiser, brother-in-law Edward (Irene) Lindsay, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and so many special friends, including his cat friends who miss him very much.

    Jim was predeceased by his parents, Harvey and Eulalee, his daughter-in-law Randi Whitlock, brother-in- law Jay Paxton, his brother-in-law Kevin Weiser, Sr., along with uncles, aunts, and nephews over the years.

    A Memorial Service for Jim will be held Saturday, September 23, 2023, at the American Legion 1-5 pm.

    In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:  American Legion, Veteran’s Assistance Fund, 228 N. 8 th ,
Klamath Falls, OR 97601.

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Memorial Service
September 23, 2023

1:00 PM
American Legion
228 N. 8th Street
Klamath Falls, OR 97601


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