Hal Edward Whitten, beloved husband, father, Paw Paw, brother, “Rock Kicker” and friend, passed away quietly at his home in San Angelo on Thursday, April 10, 2014. Hal was born September 23, 1928 in Eldorado, Schleicher County, Texas to Fenna and Lewis Whitten.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Jeri Weddle Whitten; children, Jo Whitten, San Angelo; Lewis and Larresia Whitten, Dripping Springs; Sherri and Ted Landry, Lubbock; Milton and Sharon Fitts, Lake Tawakoni; Clay and Gina Whitten, Wylie. Hal was preceded in death by one brother, Jody Whitten and has one surviving brother, Sam A. Whitten, Sr., San Angelo; brother-in-law Jon and Linda Weddle, Lubbock; sister-in-law, Martha Holland, San Angelo. He has 15 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Hal was a 1949 Eldorado High School graduate. He rode saddle broncs and bareback with the rodeo circuit, having won numerous awards. One award he was particularly proud of was a saddle he won in 1957 in Rocksprings, TX for bareback riding. Another award he would laugh about was the Pecos Rodeo where he won first place and got a pair of Levis. Hal was an early member of the Cowboy Turtle Association which later became the PRCA. He attended 2 years at Sul Ross University and often told stories about Bonanza’s, Dan Blocker “Hoss”, who was there at the same time. Hal served on active duty with the U.S. Army from 1950 – 1956 and served in the Korean War.
Hal was a lifetime rancher in Eldorado. He married Jeri Weddle on October 7, 1961 at the First Presbyterian Church and thus began the Whitten/ Weddle family union. Over the years this union of two of Texas’ oldest families has blossomed with so many memories and family members and a bond that will transcend time for decades to follow.
He was a lifetime member of FPC and an elder, he often said that he was lucky enough to be able to walk to church every Sunday, only missing few times due to a scheduling error on the part of the Dallas Cowboys or shearing goats. He became the City Superintendent of Eldorado from October, 1979 to August, 1984. He also worked for SCISD as Transportation Director from 1985 - 2002.
There are many happy memories of time spent with Hal in Ruidoso, NM, the site for so many Weddle/Whitten family reunions. Hal liked the races and the penny slots. He loved to hunt and fish, especially with his grandsons. He was an avid fan of the Texas Rangers, Dallas Cowboys and of course Rodeo.
Hal will be greatly missed and remembered for his kind and gentle nature.