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James "Jim" Whitfill Sr. '48 November 8, 2022 1:08 PM updated: November 8, 2022 1:18 PM

James Raymond Whitfill, Sr.
April 20, 1927 – October 12, 2022

Grand View Funeral Home & Memorial Park/Bethany Cemetery

James Raymond Whitfill, Sr., age 95, passed away at home on October 12, 2022. He was born April 20, 1927 to Nora Teresa Kelly Whitfill and Joseph Robert Whitfill in Pottsboro Texas.

He was raised during the Depression and graduated from Dennison High School. He left the family farm for college at Texas A&M (class of 1948). His education was interrupted by WWII delaying his graduation plans for a few years. When the war was over, he went back to Texas A&M in 1947 where on a blind date in May, he met the love of his life, Kathryn Ann Koliba. They were married in Denton, Texas on September 3, 1949. He graduated from Texas A&M as a US Army second lieutenant in 1951. Their early marriage was interrupted by the Korean conflict where he served with the 198th Field Artillery at Ft. Polk and Ft. Benning. While at Ft. Benning, their first child, Johna Kathleen, was born in 1952.

When he was discharged, he became part of the US Army Reserves (75th MAC) and they were off to Austin for graduate school at the University of Texas. In September 1953, he joined Diamond Alkali (Diamond Shamrock, Occidental) as a chemist. In 1954, they purchased their first home in Pasadena on Brenda Lane and became members of St. Pius V Catholic Church where he would serve as usher for many years. Their second child, James Raymond Jr., was born in 1955. Their third child, Kelly Jo, was born in 1958, and their fourth child, Kerry Jenean, was born in 1967. He served on two different Pasadena City Charter Commissions. He was a founding member of the Gulf Coast Instruments Society and was an active member of the American Chemical Society. He worked with Boy Scouts Troop 388 for many years and served several years on the Mae Smythe PTA Board.

As a loyal Aggie, he was an active member of the Houston A&M Club and the Bay Area A&M Club. He retired from the US Army Reserve in the 80’s as a full colonel and from Occidental in 1994. Upon retirement, Jim and Kathryn traveled around the United States and enjoyed numerous cruises to various parts of the world. Jim also enjoyed taking trips to Las Vegas with his brother-in-law, Homer Koliba.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Teresa Whitfill; siblings, Robert Kenneth Whitfill, Mary Margaret Reesby, Billie Jo Burke, Jerry Kelly Whitfill; and grandson, James Craig Whitfill.

He is survived by his wife of 73 years, Kathryn Ann Whitfill; brother, Dr. John Martin Whitfill; children, Kathy Menotti and husband Robert, Jamie Whitfill and wife Lisa, Kelly Thompson and husband Michael, and Kerry Whitfill; grandchildren: Jennifer Sigsbey and husband Nick, Chad Whitfill and wife Brittney, Chelsea Gutierrez and husband Alonzo, Kirsten Thompson, Kayte Keim and husband David, Dr. Jeremy Thompson, Jacob Thompson, Davis Richardson, Sam Richardson and wife Sadie; great-grandchildren: Jessica Leteff and fiancé William Gauntt, Emmitt Gutierrez, Grayson Keim, Case Whitfill, Madelyn Keim, Scarlett Sigsbey, Harper Keim, Noah Gutierrez, Cooper Whitfill, Mason Gutierrez, Hudson Keim, Violet Gutierrez; and great-great-grandson, Bryce Gauntt.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Glaucoma Society or the charity of your choice.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, October 18, 2022 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM with a Rosary beginning at 7:00PM at Grand View Funeral Home, 8501 Spencer Highway, Pasadena, Texas 77505. A Celebration of Mass will be held Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 10:30 AM at St. Pius V Catholic Church, 824 Main Street, Pasadena, Texas 77506. Immediately following, he will be laid to rest at Houston National Cemetery, 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77038.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Whitfill family.


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