Oscar Lee Whittington

1928 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Oscar Lee Whittington Obituary
Oscar Lee Whittington June 20, 1928 - June 3, 2013 Services will be held on Saturday, June 8th, 1:00 p.m., at Grace Assembly of God Church (Norris & McCray) 93308. Dad was born in Jimtown, Oklahoma to Claude Wesley Whittington and Etha Mae Owen Whittington. He was the second born of seven children. Dad moved to Bakersfield, CA with his parents in 1947 from Ringling, Oklahoma while still in his teens. He met our mom, Jean Tigner, while playing at the famous Rainbow Gardens. They married and together they had four sons. As a bricklayer and masonry contractor he contributed to many buildings and structures throughout Kern County and layed the brick on the famous Clock Tower after the 1952 earthquake. Dad loved people and always spoke positive of them. He never gossiped and anything you told him stayed within him. He was the life of the party, almost always the center of attention and usually had a joke to tell or a prank to pull on someone. He brought fun wherever he went. People were drawn to his charisma and charm. He loved to fish and had many old friends he loved fishing with. As kids, dad would do the hard work of laying out fishing lines to catch fish & let us do the "easy" job of cleaning them. We will always treasure the memories of many fishing trips to the Colorado River. In the 1970s our dad owned Democrat Hot Springs Resort where musicians and singers came from far and wide to play. He was one of the original pioneers of the "Bakersfield Sound". Dad got his first fiddle playing job at the age of 17. He had played or toured with great local musicians and singers like Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Bonnie Owens, Bill Woods, Red Simpson, Sonny O'Brien, Ferlin Husky, Jean Shepard, Cousin Herb Hensen, Jelly Sanders, Jimmy Phillips, Tommy Hays, Bobby Durham, Jimmy Thomason, and Fuzzy Owens and many others. He toured or played with many greats like Bob Wills, Bud Hobbs and Hank Thompson. Through his good friend, musician, singer, actor, Mayf Nutter, Dad played on "The Waltons" television show. Dad had many tempting career offers over the years, but, never excepted when it meant leaving his home of Bakersfield. In 2011 our dad's house burned to the ground causing him to lose the photos and memoribilia it took him a lifetime to collect. Back in the day Dad could play the "Orange Blossom Special" better than anyone we knew. In 1954 he recorded with Budd Hobbs on songs such as "Louisiana Swing" which was a big hit & included Jelly Sanders & Oscar Whittington on fiddles, Buck Owens on guitar, Bill Woods on piano, which can still be heard on youtube. Dad passed away from cancer. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Jeannie who died from cancer at age of 44, his son Danny who was killed in a construction accident at age of 54, his grandson Darin who died at age of 20 from heart problems, grandson Chad Oscar who died from crib death at age of 3 months, brother Wesley "Tex", and sister LaVerne Davis. He is survived by son, Jerry Whittington, children, Jeremy, Jason, Jakob, Elizabeth, David Perry, daughter-in-law, Laura Murdock; son, Joe Whittington & wife Carolyn, children, Jarie Lyn, Cheryl, Robert and Joe; son, Greg Whittington & wife Vikki, children, Nathan, Leah, Beth, Aaron, Brandon; grandson Daniel. Great grandchildren: Tesa, Forrest, Eli, Alyssa, & Mia. Siblings, LaFern Robins, Shirley McNeil (Rex), Delbert Whittington (Toni) & Jim Whittington (Nelda). Thank you Laura for always loving & taking care of dad during all these years. Thank you to dad's brother Jim for always stepping up and helping throughout the years, it wasn't un-noticed.. We want to thank Jennifer Self for the wonderful article she wrote June 4, 2013 on our dad in the Bakersfield Californian. Many thanks to family & friends who sent their warmest condolences. www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian on June 7, 2013
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