William Marvin Whittington

    107

    Sept. 11, 1949-April 23

    Bill Whittington, son, husband, father, brother, uncle, mentor, confidant and friend, was born in Lubbock, Texas, as his hometown of Tucumcari, N.M., did not have medical facilities. Bill died in Arizona.

    William “Bill” Whittington is survived by his wife of nearly nine years, Tricia Lynn (Lopez); his brother Reginald “Don” and his wife Sheri; as well as his sister-in-law, Lillian. He is further survived by his son, Scott, and daughter-in-law Jennifer, their children, William, Reilly and Hudson; as well as his daughter, Nerissa, and son-in-law, James, their son, Bolden Lee; and his grandchildren, Cristobal, Jay and Paloma; as well as his stepson, David. Bill is survived also by his multiple nieces and nephews that he loved like his own children: Jennifer, Stephanie and Reginald Jr., RD, Dale Jr. and Blake, Michael, LeeAna, and Isaac Lopez. Bill was preceded in death by his youngest brother, Jay Patrick, his younger brother, Dale Lindsey, his father Reginald “R. D.” Whittington, his mother, Donna Jean (Lindsey), and his daughter, Keely, as well as his grandson, John Lee Massengale. 

    Victim of a car theft as a sleeping baby in the vehicle, his parents relocated to Farmington, N.M., to begin car dealerships. Moving to Kona, Hawaii, at 16 and then to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to graduate from high school, Bill and his family began selling motor homes then recreational vehicles with proceeds from the sale of his Ford Mustang when departing Hawaii. The recreational vehicle business grew into the largest dealership in South Florida, with national recognition for Airstream sales. Bill collaborated with Pace Arrow on vehicle designs, including the popular Bounder line. After borrowing a friend’s planes to learn to fly in Farmington, N.M., in his youth, Bill continued to see the possibilities of personal aircraft and began an FBO in Ft Lauderdale, Fla: World Jet, which his older brother Don took over in the ‘80s. Also in the ‘80s, Bill purchased a fledgling mobile home retirement community with his close friend, Gary Levitz, and began developing the property into a high-end community for seniors in Orlando, Fla., renaming it Gulfstream Harbor. Bill’s younger brother, Dale, took over this project in the ‘80s as they grew to include apartments, townhomes as well as golf and tennis clubs.

    Bill relocated with his former wife and daughters to Pagosa Springs, Colo., in 1992 to live on a friend’s ranch and work on agricultural endeavors, living out his cowboy dreams. Consulting with his younger brother, Dale, on development and real estate projects, Bill often traveled to Albuquerque, N.M., to assist his son, Scott, and cousin Richard on building rehabilitation of Dale’s assets. Bill traveled extensively throughout the southwest, but always felt most at home at what became his daughter’s ranch in Pagosa Springs. In 2004, his daughters purchased The Springs Resort and began a long-term development plan in which they enlisted their father’s experience, and God’s guidance to create a sustainable plan, including Colorado’s first Gold LEED hotel property, in Pagosa Springs.

    Bill was an adventurer and loved all things fast, likely inherited from his race car-driving father Reginald “R.D.” Whittington. Bill raced motorcycles, planes, cars, razrs/UTVs, trucks and the occasional boat. He and his older brother, Don, purchased Road Atlanta as an investment and practice track for their IMSA careers after they partnered with Klaus Ludwig in winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1979. Bill and Don won several air races in Reno, Nev., in the 1970s. Bill, Don and Dale are the only three brothers to start the Indianapolis 500, in 1982. In the early 2000s, he raced motocross with his friends and more recently raced Baja and other Mexican endurance tracks on razrs/UTVs.

    Bill was saved in the 1980s, a joy to his mother, Donna Jean. Throughout his life, he professed his love of Christ who saved his soul and gave him peace. He was the bearer of Bibles to those in need and those who he knew needed to hear the truth of Christ. Bill supported missionaries, built churches in India, supported Prison Ministries, the Navigators, the Gideons, Samaritan’s Purse, hosted church leadership retreats, delivered food and water to the homeless with his wife, Tricia, and countless other works and people dedicated to serving as Christ served. Bill also studied the Bible daily. He sent out messages to friends and family on a regular, if not daily, basis, his last poignant for those who will forever remember him: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” — Ephesians 6:11 (NKJV).

    In lieu of flowers, please feel free to send donations in memoriam to an organization promoting the love of Christ such as Samaritan’s Purse, The Gideons or Prison Fellowship.