Wales Lamar Whitt


Wales Lamar Whitt, ATC(AC)(RET)
Wales Lamar Whitt, Beauty Ridge, Kentucky, a long-time resident of Bluffton, Ohio, and current resident of the Covenant Woods Retirement Community in Columbus, Ga., passed away on January first, 2019, at Columbus Hospice.
Wales was born on October 22, 1939 in Greenup County, Kentucky to Walter and Irene Whitt. Growing up in the hills and hollers of Northern Kentucky, Wales learned a love for the outdoors and developed a voracious appetite for learning. Graduating at the age of 16 from South Shore High School, Wales enlisted in the United States Navy in 1956 as an Aviation Electronics Technician. Throughout his 20 year naval career, Wales was stationed across the globe flying on and maintaining the communication, radar, and other electronic equipment aboard the EC-121 Warning Star, A-6, P-2V, and P-3 aircraft. When the Cuban Missile Crisis pressed the newest anti-submarine warfare aircraft, P-3 Orion, into service, Wales was attached to the first squadron to receive them, VP-8, and flew multiple missions. In Vietnam, Wales flew communications missions on P-3's, working with ground troops, keeping them abreast of enemy movements. Throughout his naval service, Wales received multiple promotions, awards, and medals including reaching the rank of Chief Petty Officer, 8 Naval Air Medals, and the Republic of Vietnam Air Gallantry Cross and multiple unit citations.
Following his naval service, Wales put his leadership experience, love of learning, and extensive knowledge of electronics to good use working for the City of Lima, Ohio providing automation and electronic controls to their waste water treatment facility using newly developed computer systems. Later, Wales would put those same talents to bear as the Columbus Water Works Maintenance Manager. His knowledge and experience with automation controls and wireless communication systems brought the Columbus water distribution systems into the 21st century.
Personally, Wales was married to the love of his life, Ruth Anne (Henry) Whitt for 46 years. Unfortunately, Ruth passed in 2014 as a result of trauma sustained in an automobile accident outside Savannah. Ruth and Wales shared a love of the military, bowling, and learning. Wales enjoyed golfing and was a member at the Bull Creek Golf Club and lifetime member of the USGA. When he wasn't golfing or spending time with Ruth, Wales was reading. Whether it was prose or poetry; science fiction or biography; Wales could never find enough new material to read. He read the newspaper daily.
Wales is survived by his brother Charles Whitt and sister Ruth (Whitt) Lyons; children Roxanne (Long) Gilliam, Keely (Long) Beale, Michelle (Gluvna) Gould, Jeffrey Whitt, and Kevin Whitt, eleven grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.
Wales was preceded in death by his wife Ruth, brother Richard Whitt, Sister Barbara (Whitt) Copeland, daughter Robin (Henry) Johnson, and great grandson Trenton Layne.
In true Navy fashion, Wales will be buried at sea off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va. later this year having his remains scattered from a P-3 Orion.
Published on January 7, 2019
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