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In Memoriam

Richard Perry "Dick" Whitmyer - Class Of 1936

Richard Perry "Dick" Whitmyer, son of Freeman Forney (1885-2955) and Bessie Belle (Layer) (1886-1964) Whitmyer, was born 24 April 1919, Ingham County, Michigan.

In 1936 Dick graduated from Okemos High School.  He remained working on his father's farm until his marriage 3 June 1943, Shiawassee County, Michigan to Rita Addie Spaulding.  Dick was a life-long dairy and crop farmer.  He and Addie celebrated 63 years and 5 children together before his death 22 January 2007, Shiawassee County.

Argus-Press, 23 January 2007


Age 89, of Laingsburg, passed away Monday, Jan. 22, 2007, at his home.

Mr. Whitmyer was a full time farmer (dairy and crops), and upon retirement he mowed lawns.

The funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, at the Watkins Brothers Funeral Home in Laingsburg, with Pastor Carl R. Cooke officiating. Burial will take place in the Oak Plains Cemetery, Shaftsburg. Visitation at the funeral home will be Wednesday evening 6 to 8 p.m. and Thursday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m.

Richard was born April 24, 1917, in Williamston the son of Freeman and Bessie (Layer) Whitmyer. He was a graduate of Okemos High School and attended Michigan State University. On June 3, 1943, he married Rita Addie Spaulding in Perry.

He was very active in his church since 1960, a former board member and sang in the choir. He was also a 4-H Leader and supporter of the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds, and belonged to the Farm Bureau.

Survivors include: wife, Rita; five children, Marjorie Whitmyer of Memphis, Mich., Max (Laro Lynn) Whitmyer of Williamston, Duane (Kathy) Whitmyer of Williamston, Phyllis Whitmyer of Lansing, and Joyce Whitmyer of Williamston; 13 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; four step great-grandchildren; sister, Esther Belbeck; several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by: three brothers, Ralph, Fred, and John.

Memorials may be given to the Middlebury United Methodist Church or Shiawassee County Fairgrounds.

Rita, born 3 June 1923, Shiawassee County, died 3 January 2012, Shiawassee County.  Dick and Rita were interred Oak Plain Cemetery, Shaftsburg, Shiawassee County.

Argus-Press, 5 January 2012


Rita Addie Spalding was born June 3, 1923, to Fred Willis Spalding and Florence Emma Burkhart. The family farm was located on Lovejoy Road in Perry. She is a Perry School alumni, graduating in 1941. Rita attended Lansing Business College and was employed in office work in Lansing.

On June 3, 1943, Rita married Richard Perry Whitmyer and they devoted their lives to farming for 40 years before retiring and moving to their current home. In addition to the Laingsburg homes, they lived in Okemos and Williamston. Travel, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, church and community kept them busy. Richard passed in January 2007.

Rita’s primary interests were being a member of the Middlebury United Methodist Church, its activities and the UM Women’s group. She also was noted for the numerous cards she faithfully sent to family and friends. She loved flowers, living in the country, spending time with and speaking about her grandkids and great-grandkids.

Rita is survived by four children, Marjorie Whitmyer of Memphis,  Max (Marolynn) Whitmyer of Williamston, Duane (Kathy) Whitmyer of Lillian, Ala., and Phyllis Whitmyer of Laingsburg; 13 grandchildren and their spouses and 29 great-grandchildren (No. 30 is due any day).

Rita was predeceased by her husband Richard and her daughter Joyce Whitmyer.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at Watkins Brothers Funeral Home in Laingsburg at 11 a.m. with granddaughter Cynthia Rinna and Pastor Don Wentz officiating. Family will meet with friends Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will take place in Oak Plains Cemetery in Shaftsburg.

Memorials may be directed to the Middlebury United Methodist Church’s Building Fund.