James William (Jim) Whiting, long time Springville resident, died January 31, 2021, of causes incident to age. He was born December 26, 1936 to Harold Johnson and Marie Jensen Whiting. He married Joyce Lynnae Tanner on September 6, 1963 in the Salt Lake Temple.
From an early age (he would ride his little trike up and down the street to visit widows and wave to neighbors), Jim knew how to make friends. He was reserved and quiet in a crowd, but so friendly to strangers that we hated going on road trips because every time he got out of the car to gas up, a 30-minute conversation would ensue with someone filling up the car on the other side of the pump. He never walked through a door ahead of another human being in his life. Old or young, male or female, he held the door and let you pass through first. He loved people. In his presence, you were made to feel valued and capable.
He was a playful and gentle father. He was a schoolteacher in his early career and delighted in helping us build our own sense of curiosity by including us in tasks most adults would avoid having children help with. This could include everything from helping him develop photos in the basement darkroom to working alongside of him as he repaired transistors and radios in the woodshop. Piggyback rides at bedtime, summer camping trips, paddling around in his yellow canoe, and working in the garden with him were staples of our childhood. Many of us have fond memories of him carrying us, half-asleep, from the car and tucking us into bed after a long ride to visit grandparents.
Jim, a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, served missions in the Great Lakes and South Africa. He also served as a bishop, a dedicated temple worker, and devoted Boy Scout Advisor. Jim taught Industrial Arts for many years, worked as a Signetics employee, and as a Church facilities supervisor. He was also a skilled craftsman, filling his home and yard with innumerable examples of his woodworking and cabinetry skills.
Jim had congenital hearing loss, and the fact that he couldn’t hear well in large groups made him a great one-on-one listener. He never pressed for information, but you found, in quiet moments, that he could pull your deepest worries out into the open, and then just listen as you talked through the problem and found your own answer.
He had an endless supply of patience. Whether he was teaching a grandchild to re-string the weed whacker yet again, or bandaging his own sliced fingers after teaching a grandson how to whittle, he was unflappable and calm. He was a craftsman in every sense, and could build almost anything as long as Joyce could produce a photograph or a drawing he could start with. He was a Master Gardener and helped Joyce turn their property into their own Eden.
Jim is survived by his wife, Joyce Tanner Whiting, and nine children, including: David (Jill), Grantsville, Utah; Lynnae (Garth) Allred, Mapleton, Utah; Marilee (Craig) Woodfield, Carrollton, Texas; Dayna (David) Scott, San Antonio, Texas; Laurel (Jon) Hill, Meridian, Idaho; Karlyn (Brian) Naylor, Springville, Utah; Scott (Erin) Whiting, Springville, Utah; Hal (Jessica) Whiting, Eagle, Idaho; and Michael (Lauralee) Whiting, Missoula, Montana; and siblings Harriet Clark, Lynn Whiting, and Phyllis Haymond. He is grandpa to 30 grandchildren and 16 and counting great-grandchildren.
Jim, we will miss your constant concern for others, your “unexpected” sense of humor, and your quiet perseverance. We hope this finds you riding your tricycle along new sidewalks making friends with everyone you meet. And don't worry. We'll all learn how to open and shut our own car doors.
An online viewing for family and friends will be held Friday, February 5th from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. We welcome you sharing stories about Jim’s life in this open house gathering, which will be recorded for family members. The link for this “virtual” viewing is https://bit.ly/2MvVBa
A public viewing is also planned for those who wish to pay their respects in person from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Friday, February 5 at Wheeler Mortuary, 211 East 200 South, Springville, Utah.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 6, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. All are welcome to attend the virtual services at the following link: https://bit.ly/2MvVBar
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral store.