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© The Bakersfield Californian
20 February 2005
Submitted by: Sandi Carter

6/28/1937 2/14/2005

Leroy Whitson was born June 28, 1937 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Leroy grew up on an 800-acre dairy and cotton farm in Arizona with an extended family. Leroy worked hard on the farm with Gary, Mary, Barbara, Betty and Sally. He was proud of the farm and what he contributed to it, it was his life. Leroy attended Buckeye Union High School and was very active in the Future Farmers of America. He graduated in 1955 and was the class valedictorian. He then went to Arizona State University where he was Vice President of Student Activities. He graduated with a B.S. in Animal and Farm management from Arizona State University in 1959.

Leroy was in the Air National Guard for 6 years, 11 months of which he spent on active duty overseas for the Berlin call up. He came to California in the early sixties to pursue his career starting at Security Pacific National Bank as a management trainee for agriculture loans. Leroy then went to work for Production Credit Association (PCA) in Wasco, CA and quickly moved up the ranks eventually becoming vice president in charge of agriculture credit/loans in Bakersfields head office in 1979. He retired from PCA after forty years of service.

Leroy married in 1962 to Sandra Stafford and they had twin boys (Greg and Mike) in 1968, which filled his life with joy. Leroy was also blessed with a beautiful granddaughter, Ariana Whitson, in 1992. She captured a piece of his heart that was indescribable.

Leroy was a part of the Wasco Rose Festival Board and his boys got to actually ride on the floats during the parades. Leroy was also active in the Wasco Active 20-30 Club for eight years and was President in 1968. Leroy and Sandy were separated in 1975. Leroy remarried in 1978 to Wilma Lackey. They were happily married for 23 years until her unfortunate passing in late 2000.

Leroy had two incredible friends for life that he spoke of often. King Cooper who he went to school and signed up for the service with and Alvin Teixeira whom he met in Wasco during his career. These two friends meant the world to him. Leroy worked hard throughout his life and was very proud of his family and his accomplishments. Leroy had the ultimate pure love from the heart for all of his family near and far. Leroy has gone to a better place now but he will stay in our hearts and thoughts forever.

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