Richard Charles Whitham
August 13, 1939 – November 16, 2020
Richard Charles Whitham, age 81, of College Station, Texas, passed away peacefully on November 16, 2020. Richard was born in Lancaster, Wisconsin on August 12, 1939, to Delvan and Mabel Whitham. Richard graduated from Fennimore High School. He married Carolyn Palasota on January 14, 2017. Richard was a member of the Parkway Baptist Church.
After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and subsequently retired on June 1, 1978 after a 21-year career, as a Chief Hospital Corpsman. He was most proud of his service on an Underwater Demolition Team and his two tours of duty in Vietnam. During one tour he served as Corpsman with Company D, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, Third Marine Division. On 7 June 1969 he was heli-lifted with a 20-man reaction force into a mountainous area near the Demilitarized Zone to assist a reconnaissance team in heavy contact with a large North Vietnamese Army unit and suffering a number of casualties. Upon reaching the beleaguered unit, Richard prepared the casualties for evacuation when the entire area came under intense enemy fire and several additional Marines were wounded. Throughout the night, Richard repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire as he moved from one position to another to aid and comfort the wounded men. The following morning the Marines broke through enemy lines and commenced an arduous six-day march to a fire-support base. During the ordeal, Richard remained with the casualties and performed a myriad of tasks that were instrumental in saving the lives of at least six Marines. Richard’s courage, superb professionalism, and selfless devotion to duty inspired all who observed him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps, and the United States Naval Service. For his courageous actions, Richard received the Bronze Star Medal.
After retiring from the Navy, Richard went to work for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) based in Houston, Texas. Richard was a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Survivors include his wife Carolyn, his daughter’s Mary Kim (Brian) Roou, Gina Rikard, Becky (Freddie) Wingate, son’s Michael (Patricia) Tippitt, Jeff (Donna) Tippitt, and Jerry (Elaine) Tippitt, and numerous grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and son Richard Charles Whitham, II.
Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 am Friday, November 20, 2020 at Parkway Baptist Church. Urn burial with military honors will be held at 12:30 pm at Wellborn Cemetery. You may livestream both services at facebook.com/memorialbryan
In lieu of flowers, contributions to Parkway Baptist Church or Hospice Brazos Valley
- Carolyn Grable Whitham, Wife
- Michael & Patricia Tippitt, Son & Daughter-in-law
- Jeff & Donna Tippitt, Son & Daughter-in-law
- Jerry & Elaine Tippitt, Son & Daughter-in-law
- Mary Kim & Brian Roou, Daughter & Son-in-law
- Gina Rikard, Daughter
- Becky & Freddie Wingate, Daughter & Son-in-law
- Numerous, Grandhildren
- Delvan Louis Whitham, Father (deceased)
- Mabel Effie Barrow, Mother (deceased)
- Richard Charles Whitham II, Son (deceased)
Learn more about the Whitham name