Lamar E. Whitson, III 1971-2019

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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 9:12 am

Lamar E. “LEW” Whitson, III, age 48, of Blue Rapids, Kansas, passed away in a car accident on Friday, May 31, 2019.

The family is encouraging those who will attend LEW’s celebration of life to wear Game Day attire; and dress as they would if they were attending a Kansas State Wildcats, Valley Heights Mustangs, Oklahoma Sooners, Grinnell Warriors, Grinnell-Wheatland Thunderhawks, or Sterling College Warriors football game.

A Cellebration of Life for LEW is to be held at 2:00 pm, Saturday, June 15, 2019, at the Valley Heights High School Gymnasium, Blue Rapids, Kansas, with Pastor Joel Barber officiating. A private family inurnment will take place at a later date.

LEW was born to Lamar Jr. and Joyce Whitson on Jan. 16, 1971, in Chanute, Kansas. He graduated from Altoona-Midway High School in 1989. During his youth, LEW enjoyed playing football, basketball and baseball, as well as the trumpet and violin. He also enjoyed hauling hay and throwing bales in the summers, and was active in 4-H.

LEW then attended Kansas State University where he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Education and worked for the K-State football team as an equipment manager. There he also met Jill Tucker. LEW and Jill were married in Smith Center, Kansas on Jan. 8, 1994. Their marriage was blessed with four children; Lamar E. IV, Jarrett Lane, Haylee Nicole and Emma Jacelyn.

His love for family and football started with his father, Lamar Jr. This love was passed on when LEW started his own family, taking his sons to football practices at a young age, and attending all kinds of sporting events with his family. LEW enjoyed fishing with and grilling for his family, and asking them random trivia questions that only he knew. He loved his kids and was intentional about supporting each of them in their respective passions and endeavors. Many of his favorite moments were spent laughing with his family.

An esteemed educator, LEW taught United States History and Government; and was passionate about helping people become critical thinkers, ambitious dreamers, and ambassadors for solutions. As a coach, LEW strived to establish relationships with his athletes; coaching in ways that challenged and encouraged them to press through many barriers in both sport and in life, becoming stronger, more resilient, and altogether better men and women because of it.

He taught and coached across Kansas, including short stints at Wamego, St. Mary’s and Osborne, 11 years at Grinnell/Wheatland and 11 years at Valley Heights.

In 2001, LEW coached the Kansas Eight-Man Football All Star Game. LEW believed in investing in students and other educators, that belief drove him to play an integral role in sustaining “We the People” in Kansas the past 15 years and prioritizing Model UN (United Nations) for his students and fellow educators. In recent years, LEW became invested in his local church and helping lead Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Valley Heights.

LEW is preceded in death by his father, Lamar Jr., his grandparents Lamar Sr. and Henrietta Whitson, and grandfather Gerald Umbarger.

Survivors include his wife Jill and their children, Lamar IV, Jarrett, Haylee and Emma; his mother Joyce; sister Jayne; brother Lewis Sr. and wife Kirsten and their children Lewis “Whit” Jr. and Kamron; and father and mother-in-law, Gary and Judy Tucker.

The family suggests giving to the LEW Whitson Memorial Fund in lieu of flowers. Please send donations to Terry-Christie Funeral Home at PO Box 61, Waterville, Kansas 66548.

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