The last words of Robert Lynn Whitmore’s story were written on April 12, 2022, but those were simply the final pen stroke of an epic story. He was born on January 28, 1936, in Red Oak, OK to Harley and Geneva Whitmore. Robert grew up loving to farm, raising show pigs, and playing fast pitch softball.
Shortly after moving to Sand Springs as a sophomore, he began a love story that would truly define his adult life. He and Ro Ann married a few days after he graduated from high school and remained joyfully devoted to one another for 66 years until her passing in 2020. During that time they had three children, Mark, Neil, and Ann Lynn. When he welcomed their spouses Glenda (Neil) and Marty (Ann Lynn) to the family, he loved them like his own.
Robert’s story as a father was simply beautiful. His was a story that brilliantly wove an incredible work ethic, strategic problem solving, positivity in the face of adversity, and unconditional love into a masterful plot. He enriched that further by mixing in healthy doses of a passion for flying, golf, running, cameras, fixing cars and tractors, and service to others. His children learned by watching his story unfold that a good decision benefits others and to approach any obstacle as if the solution were already available.
As his family continued to grow with the addition of eight grandchildren beginning with Ann Marie Whitmore Wiegel (John), Ben Whitmore, Andy Whitmore, Montie Whitmore, Michael Whitmore, Logan McIlroy (Vicki), Jordan McIlroy (Valerie), and Kameran McIlroy (Mariah), Robert’s story added new layers rich with humor, lessons, and more love. He took special pleasure in allowing his grandkids to drive his golf cart, watching them play sports, attending their special events, teaching them to “fix” things, and creating sweet memories with each one. This Papa legacy continued with the next generation of seven great grandchildren, Mason, Gianni, Jaden, Kinley, Kennedy, Mila, and Ozzy.
Robert loved and admired his sisters Karen (Jim) Owen and Brenda Reid through each chapter of his story.
Much of Robert’s story was written through his work life. Bob was a loyal and dedicated leader in each of the organizations in which he worked. He was well respected by his colleagues and industry leaders not only because he was successful in a business sense, but because he just treated people well.
All well-written stories have sorrows and Robert’s is no different. In addition to Ro Ann, both parents, his in laws, Monte and Marie Hare, sister Jo Edith Whitworth and husband Roy, brother Kenny and wife Shirley preceded him to heaven. Robert faced each loss with a gentle spirit and kind heart.
The theme of Robert’s story is one of service to others. Not only did he serve his family, he also served in many churches and mission organizations as well. His intention was never to be in the limelight. He felt most fulfilled when things were done well and no one had to ask. He truly exemplified his pastor’s mantra, “See a need and fill it.” That was Robert’s way.
If making a lasting impact and changing lives defines what makes a story classic, then Robert’s life story is the best kind of classic.