Harold Lloyd Whipple
December 31, 1928 – June 17, 2020
Harold Lloyd Whipple passed peacefully from this life on June 17, 2020, at age 91 ½, while napping in his recliner. He was born in Omaha, Illinois, in 1928, the oldest of six children of Doris (Switzer) and Rufus Whipple. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Beryl, his parents, daughter Tina, grandson Rex, sister Joann, and brothers Carl, Gene, and Richard.
Growing up poor in a large family of tenant farmers in rural America during the Depression, Harold never lacked for the basics, but he learned young about hard work and getting an education – a legacy he passed on to his posterity. He began working at the age of five and attended a two-room school house for the first several grades. His family of eight lived in a tiny two-bedroom house that his Mom and Dad built themselves.
After graduating high school in May 1946 at age 17, he joined the Army, doing two years’ service in the U.S. and Korea, advancing from private E-1 to sergeant E-4. He then re-enlisted in the recently created Air Force. Harold retired as a senior master sergeant with twenty years’ service on December 31, 1966, his 38th birthday. His assignments included air bases in several States, as well as Korea, England, France, Germany and Okinawa. While in England he met and married Beryl with whom he had four children: Kathleen, Christina, Peter and Colleen.
Upon his retirement from the Air Force in Oklahoma, he began a second twenty-year career with the Internal Revenue Service, which again moved him to various States. He advanced from GS-5 auditor to GM-14 Treasury Agent, Criminal Division, and retired again from Federal service in 1986. He lived in Stroud, OK, for several years before moving to Edmond, OK, in 1995. His daughter Tina Page, a teacher at Edmond Memorial High School, drafted him into becoming a substitute teacher there and he enjoyed doing it for several years.
In his spare time, Harold read copiously, or worked using the skills he learned in his youth and the military: carpentry, electrical, plumbing and mechanical – from building kid’s furniture up to home additions and barns, or he was repairing engines from lawnmowers to cars and trucks. He was a master cribbage player in his younger days, and in his golden age enjoyed visits to several tribal casinos around the state. Harold was also a life-long learner, taking night classes for decades. He attended Oscar Rose Junior College while stationed at Tinker AFB, Midwest City, OK, and then spent years driving to the University of Oklahoma in Norman, studying Psychology, then History, and finally Accounting. He and Beryl enjoyed travelling to England every year to visit her family and to nourish his love of history. He also found the time to write his autobiography for his family, entitled, “A Small Town Boy’s Walk Through Life”.
Harold is survived by daughters Kathleen and Colleen, and son Peter; 18 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren, his brother Wayne and many nieces & nephews. He was direct and sometimes gruff in manner, but always witty with a fun sense of humor. Harold was also incredibly generous to friend and stranger alike, regardless of their race or religion. He will be greatly missed.
Wednesday, July 1, 2020