OBITUARY

Delbert Amos Whetstone

April 24, 1926April 27, 2018

Delbert Amos Whetstone, or “Del” to us all, was 92 years and 3 days of age when he passed. Del was born in the Micawber–Paden area of Oklahoma on a working farm homesteaded by his parents, Delbert A and Ethel B Whetstone. Del was from a family of eight brothers and four sisters. Del was #6 in the family birth lineup. He spoke of his youth in Oklahoma with tender reflection, including his walking some distance to school, his chores that included taking the family cows to pasture, retrieving and then milking them. As a youngster he enjoyed going casual in overalls and being barefoot, but also loved being fully dressed up for church services and social events. Del was a fabulous dresser, starting in his early childhood and teen years. The family recalls a photo taken of Del at about 12-13 years of age. He was immaculately dressed in a new sport suit with dress shirt, matching tie and to top it off – a new fedora hat. Stylish awareness was a part of Del’s persona, whether in civilian or in military life. He loved clothes, and his shoes were always fully shined. In his early teens the family sold the farm holdings, bought a store in Bristow, OK, and for a short time Del enjoyed city life there. That afforded the older kids like Del, part-time jobs for earning spending money for local attractions, while attending school. Upon the breakout of WWII the family moved to Los Angeles, California where Del’s older sisters, Nova and Lucille had recently moved. Lucille’s husband had joined the Army and was stationed nearby, awaiting being shipped overseas. High paying factory jobs were plentiful. In 1947 Del joined the US Air Force, then called the Army Air Corps. Del spent a total of 21 years in the Air Force, spending time in Japan, the Philippine Islands, stateside, the Middle East, and France. Del finished his career stateside as a military recruiter for the Air Force. It was early in his career while stationed in Oklahoma that he met a beautiful recent college graduate, Bette Jo Gevedon, working near where he was then stationed. Del, replete in his military dress and bearing several stripes of rank by this time, quickly showed his interest and persistence in dating her. They hit it off from the start and were soon married. First Jo, then Jo and the kids, Tony and Cori, travelled with Del from assignment to new assignment except where the location was remote and there were no family accommodations. Those times were rare thank goodness. Following Del's 21 years of military service he joined the Glendora Police Department as assistant to the Police Chief and supervisor over all non-police functions. Those duties soon included a new assignment when Del made a proposal to save the Police Department money. Formerly the budget included contracting out to an auction house the task of selling off retired police vehicles and equipment plus all-unclaimed contraband. Being gregarious, high spirited and most confident, Del proposed that he take on that task as well. After 18 years Del retired from the Glendora Police Department. At his retirement party hosted by the Police Chief and Glendora Mayor, Del received a special award and much praise for his service. Del and Jo enjoyed retirement in California, Oklahoma, and finally in North Carolina near his son and family. Sadly, Del lost his lovely wife and life partner when Bette Jo passed away unexpectedly on July 1, 2006. Del soon moved back to California to be near children, siblings and other close family. It was there that Del eventually through mutual friends, met and married his current wife, Merlee Espanola Gimotea in Hesperia, CA on May 23, 2017. They made their home in Apple Valley, CA near Del’s oldest sister Nova. Merlee proved to be a great wife and advocate for Del and an asset and close friend to Nova and made her new sister’s last year so very enjoyable. Nova, being in failing health would light up the room with her smile upon seeing her new-found sister Merlee enter the room.

Del is survived by his wife Merlee Whetstone; son, Dr. Tony Whetstone, daughter-in-law, Dr. Lauren M. Whetstone, daughter, Corinne J. Whetstone, all of Sacramento, CA; granddaughter, Emily C Whetstone, whom he adored, of Granada Hills, CA; a brother, Jack. W and wife Kathy S. Whetstone, a brother-in-law Jack J. Gonzales plus many beloved nephews and nieces and friends. Below is a poem Del loved.

High Flight "Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there, I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace. Where never lark, or even eagle flew — And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, – Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."

John Gillespie Magee, Jr 1941

Services

  • Celebration of Life Graveside Service Tuesday, May 8, 2018
REMEMBERING

Delbert Amos Whetstone

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Tony Whetstone

May 21, 2018

Dad was never really the same after Mom passed away. Here's a picture of happier times.

Jack Whetstone

May 17, 2018

Jack Whetstone

May 14, 2018

Kathy Whetstone

May 14, 2018

One of my favorite current photos Del was proud of.

Jack Whetstone

May 12, 2018

Jack Whetstone

May 12, 2018

A year ago, Nova sharing her weekly visit with Del and Merlee at their Apple Valley residence.

Jack Whetstone

May 10, 2018

Jack Whetstone

May 10, 2018

Kathy Whetstone

May 6, 2018

I love this picture of Del holding up our gift card to him for his birthday. Merlee took it and sent it to us. Merlee, I love you. Not only for all of the things you did for Nova, but Del as well. This past year he was so happy and content, which I had not seen in quite a while. You were so completely involved with him and he with you. I saw such a difference in him since you came into his life. Thank you for that 💞

Kathy Whetstone

May 5, 2018

I have so many memories of times with Del. It is hard to begin, as for me it has not ended. There is a big hole in my heart as I did not get to say goodbye. I never thought I would be leaving hollow sounding "words" for my dear brother-in-law. He was so happy on his birthday when I talked with him. How would I ever know that we would celebrate no more. I don't think it should have been his time, but only God knows the reasons. I shall miss him so much. He always could make me laugh with his endless jokes. And he knew countless ones. I loved his laugh, I loved his larger-than-life gestures. I loved to watch him sing and play his guitar.
I've had so many experiences with him and Jo that I will always cherish. Jack and I had so much fun when we stayed with them in the Hill Country of Texas. He took us to see the Alamo, President Johnson's Library and Texas home, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Museum and birthplace. We had such a great time having lunch on the River Walk in San Antonio. Well, needless to say, that is just one adventure. There were many more.
So, for now I want to say how much he meant to me and that I loved him. I take comfort in the fact that I will see him again. I know he is with all of the family in heaven rejoicing and "singing" all his favorites. You shall be deeply missed.