Richard O. Whitten, 74, passed away peacefully on March 9, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. Services were held at Cook Baptist Church on March 11. Interment followed at Greenwood Cemetery under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home.
Richard was born on November 3, 1948, in Monroe, La to parents Mayo Whitten and Violet Whitten. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Ronald Whitten, daughter-in-law Deede Whitten, and grandson Brayton James Whitten. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Janet Selle Whitten, son Ronnie Whitten (Stephanie), Jennifer Lehman (Blain), and Cindy Graham (Adam). Richard had 12 grandchildren Tessa Whitten, Jace Whitten (Paige), Caleb Whitten (Cailee), Faith Milton, Max Milton, Mikayla Lehman, Mike Lehman, Earl Lehman, Ashley Wall (Garrett), Lily Graham, Lane Graham, and Raymond Graham. Also surviving are two great-grandchildren Banks Whitten and Charlotte Wall to be born in July, 2023.
Richard and his family moved to Ruston when he was 12 years old. He attended Ruston High School graduating in 1966. Richard graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 1971 with a degree in Mathematics. He met his future wife, Janet, at youth church functions at Temple Baptist Church. They were married on August 3, 1968, and were together 54 years until his death.
Richard was a man who pursued many interests during his life. By profession, he was a Computer Programmer and worked at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, and Philco Ford Corporation in Clear Lake, Texas. There he worked as a contractor to NASA assigned to the SkyLab Project in the early 70s. He also worked at St. Regis Paper Company in Lufkin, Texas, before returning to Ruston to work in the Business Department at Louisiana Tech University for 12 years.
In 1993, Richard and Janet moved to Hood River, Oregon, to farm a family apple and cherry orchard. He also pursued his passion for growing daylilies and had a thriving nursery for 16 years before retiring to Ruston.
Richard loved his family deeply and provided many hours of entertainment and memories to his children and grandchildren with his love of gardening, raising chickens, and adventurous trips and projects.
Above all, Richard loved his Lord and Savior and striverd to serve Him daily throughout his life. He loved to sing and served as music director for Barnett Springs Baptist Church in Ruston and Tucker Road Baptist Church in Hood River, Oregon. He especially enjoyed singing in the choir at Cook Baptist Church.
Pallbearers were his grandsons and nephew, Tristen Huff.
Honored guests were the Adult 1 & 2 mens and ladies Connect Class from Cook Baptist Church.