|CLARENCE JURDEN WHITTENBERG
© Lehman Funeral Home
Reprinted with Permission
Clarence Jurden Whittenberg was born in Olney, Texas on April 23, 1935 to Wayne Harvey Whittenberg and Callie Marie Clement Whittenberg. He passed away November 12, 2016 in Wellston, Oklahoma at the age of 81.
Clarence was a graduate of Wheeler, Texas High School, West Texas State University, and received a MABS degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.
Clarence was married to Waunetta Joyce Burgess and recently celebrated 64 years of marriage on June 23, 2016. Waunetta was the love of his life and they both are members of Metropolitan Baptist Church and live on a family farm in Wellston, Oklahoma. The couple eloped in 1952 and after finishing high school moved to Canyon, Texas where Clarence played football on scholarship from 1954 to 1958.
He was a starter on the 1957 Tangerine Bowl championship team, received AP & UPI honorable mention All American honors his Sr. year and later that fall was invited to the training camp of the Chicago Bears in a letter he still has from George Halas. One of Clarence’s regrets was after being recruited by Bud Wilkinson to play football for the Oklahoma Sooners, he felt he didn’t fit in with the suit and tie crowd at OU and felt more at home in the Levis and t-shirt atmosphere at WT. The regret was reversed by his fond memory, love of his fellow Buffalo teammates, and experience at WT. Clarence said many times “if it weren’t for football, I would probably never have gone to college”. After graduation from WT he began a teaching and coaching career in Sunray, Texas, then coached at Shamrock, Texas and later in Collinsville, Texas. He LOVED Texas high school football, the competitiveness and skill of the coaches in Texas, and the love of the game and toughness of Texas high school kids. Clarence was an avid student and teacher of History, a subject he loved second only to football.
While Clarence was a teacher and coach at Shamrock, Texas he was approached by a few men from the Baptist Church to become a Christian and turn his life over to Jesus Christ. After one or two encounters with this group of men, Gene Allison, father of Con Allison who played football for him put his arm around him and said “We love you coach”. That gesture set in motion a chain of events that led him to eventually do just that, he turned his life over to the rule and Lordship of Jesus Christ. He later said he was stunned by Gene’s simple act of love and could not get it out of his head. Determined and hard-headed as he was, he set out to study the history of Christianity thereby gaining enough knowledge to overwhelm these guys and once and for all put off this talk of changing his life. While reading the “authority”, Encyclopedia Britannica during one of his classes in school, he read of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, a historical fact being a matter of official Roman record. There in the middle of class he was struck and said to himself “my God, it is true”. This rough and tumble mountain of a man was dramatically changed to a “new man” from that moment for the rest of his life. His knowledge of history, later coupled with his study and understanding of the scriptures led him to become a great teacher and advocate of the study of Church History. He pastored churches in Dill City, Oklahoma and Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Clarence was preceded in death by his parents, Wayne and Callie Whittenberg, a sister, Mary Catherine, and a younger brother, Verl Whittenberg.
He is survived by Waunetta of their home in Wellston, son and daughter-in-law, Maurice and Dianne Whittenberg of Wellston, daughter, Marianne Hudson of Midwest City, Oklahoma, daughter and son-in-law, Melinda and Gary Sharum of Ardmore, Oklahoma, brother and sister-in-law, Don and Patsy Whittenberg of Panhandle, Texas, sister-in-law, Sandra Whittenberg of Atlanta, Georgia, sister and brother-in-law, Merl Faye and Ronnie Brock of Canyon, Texas, sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Patsy and Elvie Williams of Shamrock, Texas, seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Clarence loved being retired and living in Oklahoma but was most proud to be a native son of Texas. His influence on hundreds of former students, football players, and fellow followers of Jesus Christ is known and appreciated by all who knew him. His strength, leadership, love and wisdom will be missed by many, especially his wife, children and grandchildren. His wish would be for all he knew to come to salvation through faith in the life, sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Viewing will be at Lehman Funeral Home in Wellston, Oklahoma Tuesday, November 15 beginning at 10:00 a.m. and the family will be present that evening 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
A memorial service will be Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at Metropolitan Baptist Church 7201 W. Britton Rd, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73132.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made in his memory to Frontier Hospice of Oklahoma City or Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas.
Arrangements are under the direction of Lehman Funeral Home of Wellston.
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