Louie Whitis, age 93, of Heath, passed away August 17, 2013, at the Selma Markowitz Care Center. He was born February 24, 1920, in Ano, KY to the late Evan and Opha (Dugger) Whitis.
As a boy, he helped his father in raising mules, operating a planing mill and farming. As a young man, he graduated from Sue Bennett College in London, KY. To earn money to attend Eastern State College, he worked in a munitions plant in Cincinnati. WWII was beginning and his two brothers, Cartell and Lonnie, enlisted in the army. He followed, joining the Navy in 1943. He attended Officer Candidate School at Northwestern University and was assigned to the Pacific Theatre. Upon returning to Kentucky, he graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in chemistry. After graduating from Eastern, he joined the Merchant Marines, and traveled through South and Central America. He then attended the University of Kentucky where he met his first wife, Ena Jones (d. 1988). He left his studies to provide for his wife and first daughter and began employment with Proctor and Gamble. He worked with P&G in chemical quality control, leading him to work for the federal government at the Newark-Heath Air Force Base as a chemist, retiring in 1990. He was a very accomplished man having earned several recognitions for cost saving measures on defense missile lubricants.
He is survived by his wife, Donna Jean (Saunders); three daughters, Rebecca Langner of Alabama, Sarah “Libby” Whitis of Oregon and Renee Gorsuch of Millersport; seven grandchildren, Katie (Ricky) Little, Whit (Brandy) Langner, Hart Langner, Alex Langner all of Alabama, Louis James Riley of Oregon, Mya , Melia, and Marissa Gorsuch all of Millersport; great-grandchildren, Peyton, Lilli, Court, Daphne and Scotty; two brothers, Cartell (Shirley) Whitis of Tennessee and Clell (Jean) Whitis of Texas; a sister-inlaw, Delana Whitis (Lonnie) of Indiana; cousins, Sissy and Johnny Bob (Barbara); and nine nieces and nephews, Evan, Scott, Jamie, Linda, Sabrina, Eddy, Lewis, Lonnie, and David.
In addition to his parents and his first wife, he was preceded in death by a brother, Lonnie Whitis; and a son-in-law, Mike Riley.
Following his wishes, no calling hours or services will be observed in Heath. A private family memorial will be held in Heath. The Heath Chapel of Henderson- Van Atta-Stickle Funeral and Cremation Service is assisting the family with arrangements.
Graveside services will be held at the Chaney Cemetery, Ano, Pulaski County, Kentucky at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 31, 2013. Friends and family are invited to attend.
The family wishes to extend their appreciation to Dr. Mark Mitchell and his staff, for the wonderful medical care provided to Louie during his lifetime. Also, the family thanks the staff of the Licking Memorial Hospital for their compassionate care of Louie during his last days.
Memorial contributions may be made to the National Rife Association or the Heritage Foundation.
Please visit www.hendersonvanatta.com to view a memorial and leave a message of condolence for the Whitis family.