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John L. Whittingham

January 18, 1946 ~ April 19, 2020 (age 74)

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Obituary

Grand Marais

            John L. Whittingham, age 74, of Grand Marais, MI and formerly of Green Bay, WI passed away Sunday, April 19, 2020 peacefully at his home under the loving care of his family and North Woods Home Hospice.  He was born on January 18, 1946 in Ontonagon, MI to the late Helen Briggs and Lee Knudsen.  John lived in Phelps, WI with his mother Helen and her husband Roy Whittingham who helped raise him and later adopted John.  In his younger years, John found a love for the outdoors and fixing cars. John graduated from Phelps High School in 1964 and entered into the United States Coast Guard on June 9, 1964.  While in the Coast Guard, John furthered his love for engines while graduating from Engineering School in Connecticut and Diesel Mechanics School in Detroit.  John was stationed in Marquette, MI and he and his family lived in the historic Coast Guard Marquette Harbor Lighthouse.  John married Sue Roberts on October 16, 1965 and together they had three children.  John was honorably discharged on June 7, 1968 as an Engineman Petty Officer 2nd Class (EN2) and was awarded the Good Conduct Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.  John and his family moved to the Green Bay area, and he worked for a number of places as a mechanic, but his main job was for Morning Glory Dairy where John drove truck as a delivery driver and was mechanic for many years.  John married Cobina St. Martin on September 5, 1987 where together they started their own large engine repair business Whitco Inc. John never had to advertise, because all the truckers and farmers in the area knew he could fix just about anything. They lived and worked in the Green Bay area for many years until 2008 when they retired and decided to move to Grand Marais, MI.  John was not only a talented mechanic; he was great carpenter too.  His talents gave him the opportunity to personally design and remodel their beautiful new home in the north woods.  John was an avid outdoorsman who was at peace spending time in the woods and on the water.  He was a member of the Grand Marais Sportsman’s Club.  John took great pride in his service and faithfully participated in the Grand Marais Memorial Day services.  John was always a bit of a homebody, but Cobina could always find a way to bring him out to community gatherings, church services, and together they enjoyed numerous road trips around the U.S. 

            John is survived by his wife of thirty-three years – Cobina St. Martin of Grand Marais; children - Christopher Whittingham and Meghan (Barry) Siewert both of Green Bay; son-in-law – David Brown of Green Bay; step-son – Gary (Challece) Schraer; grandchildren – Morgan and Porter Siewert, Alex (Kevin) Hogan, Samantha Brown, Christina (Kody) Williams, and Stephanie and Jennifer Schraer; and one great-grandchild on the way;  siblings – Paul (Martha) Whittingham, David (Wendy) Whittingham, and Maren Whittingham; brother-in-law - Bill Caskey; and numerous nieces, nephews, and good friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents – Helen and Roy Whittingham and Lee Knudsen; daughter – Heather Brown; and sister Barbara Caskey.

            A memorial service and committal will take place at a later date.  

 

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