Stewart M. Whipple, Sr.
Last updated 12/27/2023 at 12:11pm
Stewart M. Whipple passed away peacefully at his home in Portland, Oregon on November 28, 2023. He was 101 years old.
Stewart was born October 12, 1922 to Leslie M. Whipple and Mabel Distad Whipple in Spokane, Washington. Stewart, his sister Vernice, and parents moved to the Grand Coulee Dam area, and he graduated from Mason City High School in 1941. Stewart attended Washington State College before transferring to the University of Washington where he received his BA degree. While at University of Washington, he was the first chair violinist in the orchestra, a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and a proud member of the prestigious Oval Club. During his summers off from college, he worked a variety of jobs that he said had great influence on and value to him, "working with people from all walks of life". He was a deckhand on the Keller Ferry - the "Blue Ox", worked on the railroad as a "gandy dancer" or spikeman, rounded up and branded wild mustangs from the open range, and worked as a drum gate operator on the Grand Coulee Dam.
Stewart married Grand Coulee resident Marcia Johnson in 1951. Marcia was the daughter of Edgar Johnson and Ruth Hovey Johnson, owners of the Russell Drug. Stewart and Marcia moved to Portland, Oregon to live and raise their five children. They enjoyed international travel, but they always found their way back to Coulee Dam, where the family still owns a home.
Stewart got his law degree from the Northwestern School of Law in Portland, Oregon. He had a sixty-three year career as an attorney, retiring at age 92. He loved jazz music and regularly listened to his collection of jazz albums. He was also a collector of recipes and enjoyed cooking his signature dishes for the family.
Stewart was a generous supporter of many charities. He was a member of the Sons of Norway and a member for seventy-two years of the Multnomah Athletic Club. In a recent interview in the Club's monthly magazine upon becoming a centenarian, he attributed his health and longevity to exercise, good nutrition, and a lot of luck.
Stewart lived his life with integrity and honor. He helped so many people without bringing attention to himself and was a trusted counselor. You knew you were part of his extended family and friends if you received newspaper articles in the mail that he clipped just for you based on his knowledge of your interests.
He was beloved and truly respected by all. As the old saying goes:
"To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world".
Stewart was that man to so many.
Stewart was laid to rest in the Spring Canyon Cemetery next to his wife Marcia. He is survived by four children and six grandchildren. Gifts in his honor can be made to the Shriner's Children's Hospital.