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John Whitmire

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John Whitmire Obituary
John Lee Whitmire

Great Falls —John Lee Whitmire, 73, of Houston, Texas died of complications from Parkinson's disease with Lewy Body Dementia on April 27, 2014.

John was born on December 15, 1940, in Deming, New Mexico. His grandmother, Alberta "Birdie" Sherrill and his mother, Josephine Whitmire, who are deceased, nurtured him through his formative years.

Recognized in high school for his gift with mathematics, he was encouraged to attend New Mexico State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1964. He attributed much of his later success to his teachers and showed his gratitude to his university by significantly supporting its academic programs. As a result, he was pleased to have received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1995 from his alma mater.

John was a respected leader in the energy industry for more than 50 years. Most of his career was with Phillips Petroleum Company where he served for over 30 years in various capacities earning his way from Driller to Executive Vice President and Director. Following his retirement from Phillips Petroleum Company, he led Union Texas Petroleum as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. John later worked with Hunt Oil Company of Canada as President. He helped lead CONSOL Inc. and CONSOL Energy as Chairman of the Board from 1999 until mid-2013.

John's directorships included Haven Wealth Group, Global Marine, Transocean, and El Paso Corporation. As a lifelong conservationist he served on the Management Board of the Playa Lakes Joint Venture Wildlife Conservation Project. He was especially pleased to serve on the Board of National Audubon and the Advisory Board of Houston Audubon Society. He also assisted Montana Audubon for many years.

John's family and friends will remember his intelligence, sense of justice, generosity, love of hunting and fishing, and dry wit. John treasured his industry relationships and thrived when working on the next "deal."

John loved his family. He is "loved to eternity" by his wife, Susan Maclin. He is survived by his children Marcy Francis (Ted), Rick Whitmire (Lisa), and Ron Whitmire (Carolina) and by Susan's children Kevin Box (Jennifer), and Jason Box (Stacy). He enjoyed being with his grandchildren - Katherine Francis Lovitt (Joe), Eric Whitmire, Lauren Whitmire, Brittany Smalling (Nick), and Chandler Box. His granddaughter, Dani Francis, preceded him in death.

He is survived by his brother Jim Whitmire (Nancy) and his cousins Bob Baker (Marianne), and Russell Baker (DeDe).

The Whitmire family would like to thank John's caregivers, Andres Delacruz, Judith English, Brenda Williams and Stephen Obinna who so loved and cared for him. The assistance provided by the Vitas Hospice team was invaluable.

Judy Morgan, John's personal assistant for close to 20 years, was more than an assistant to John and Susie. Her friendship, kindness and wisdom will always be with us.

Friends are invited to a visitation with the family from 1:00 to 2:00 in the afternoon on Monday, May 5 at the Waltrip Funeral Home, 1415 Campbell Rd, Houston, TX 77005.

The funeral service will be in the chapel of the Waltrip Funeral Home beginning at 2:00 in the afternoon on May 5. Reverend Thomas Morgan of Bay City, Texas is to officiate.

In Cascade, Montana, on Thursday, May 8 a visitation will be held from 9:00 to 10:00 in the morning at the United Methodist Church, 3 ½ 3rd St. N, Cascade, MT, 59421. A burial service will follow at the Hillside Cemetery in Cascade.

In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in John's name may be directed to Houston Audubon Society (, Montana Audubon (, or Houston Area Parkinson's Society (

Condolences to the family may be shared at

Published in Great Falls Tribune on May 4, 2014
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