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Obituary: Whitcher, H. Howard Wilson

Age 94

H. (Howard)

Having lived a long and fulfilling life, H. (Howard) Wilson Whitcher passed away peacefully at the wonderful age of 94 on October 27th, 2012 at Sullivan Park Care Center. Wilson was preceded in death by his father and mother, Edward David Whitcher and Nellie Thurston Buck Whitcher; and his beloved wife of 69 years, Dorothy Jean Rock Whitcher; sister, Georgia Wilcox and brother, Lyman Whitcher. Born July 1, 1918 in St. Paul, MN and where he met his wife, Dorothy. They started dating in January of 1938 and were married the following October in Iowa City, Iowa. Wilson and Dorothy moved to Kellogg, Idaho in the early 1940’s where Wilson went to work for his uncle, Gene Keesey, in the gas service station. In 1944, Wilson entered the Army and served in World War II in which he was stationed in India. He received an honorable discharge in February 1946 and with his father in law, Lyle Rock, ran the Union 76 station in Kellogg. In the 1950’s, Wilson and Dorothy moved to Lewiston, Idaho and partnered with family friends and opened the first outdoor drive-in theater. The drive-in sold in 1953 and they moved to the Spokane area and eventually settled in the Spokane Valley. Wilson started a home business in 1953 under the name of Wilson Whitcher, which later became Budget Oil Company in 1957. A well respected businessman, Wilson was named to the Board of Directors of Spokane Valley Savings and Loan in 1969, was a member of the Spokane Chamber of Commerce, Spokane Valley Rotary, Spokane Fuel Dealers Association and the Spokane Club. We would often joke with dad when we were out with him, shopping or dining, that he seemed to know at least one person wherever we went. Dad and Mom started yearly trips to Hawaii in 1968, and later purchased a condo at the Kalani Kai in Kona, Hawaii. They truly loved the islands and would spend most of their winters there until the mid 1990’s. Dad put a wonderful pool in the backyard of his valley home in 1974 and hosted many family gatherings throughout the years, including a large family reunion in 1997. Dad would say his best memories were the family gatherings in the backyard. Wilson is survived by four children, Pat Placencia (Rick) of Riverside, CA, Bev Sanders (Dane) of Spokane Valley, Rock Whitcher (Mindy) of Otis Orchards, and Shelley Sholl (Steve) of Newman Lake, WA; nine grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. Please join us in a celebration of Wilson’s life on Saturday, November 10th, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. at Thornhill Valley Chapel, 1400 S. Pines Road, Spokane Valley, WA. Private inurnment with military honors at Pines Cemetery, Spokane Valley, WA. Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice. A special thank you to the staff on the 400 wing at Sullivan Park Care Center for the warm and wonderful care you provided to our dad! Blessed indeed is the man who hears gentle voices call him father, grandfather and “Oh great one!” Dad, may you soar on Eagle’s wings! We love you!