BENTON – Don Martin Whittington passed away February 23, 2017 after a brief illness. Visitation will be held at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Bossier City, LA from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 26, 2017. Services will be held on Monday, February 27, 2017 at First Baptist Church, Benton, LA at 2 p.m., with interment to follow at Pilkinton Cemetery, Benton, LA. Officiating will be Rev. Robert Beadle and Rev. Billy Pierce.
Don was born on April 24, 1935 to Julian Martin and Eula Cutrer Whittington at Highland Hospital in Shreveport, LA and was a lifelong resident of Benton, LA.
Upon graduation from Bossier High School, he attended Louisiana Tech University where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Husbandry. He began a career in banking at Bossier Bank & Trust and then moved to The Bank of Benton. In 1984 he became one of the original founders of the First National Bank of Benton where he has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors for 33 years. He has lived his entire life in his hometown of Benton. He served his community as a town Councilman, for over 50 years as a Volunteer Fireman and for 20 years as a Bossier Parish Police Juror. He was a member of the Louisiana Cattleman’s Association, Louisiana Forestry Association, Benton Masonic Lodge, and the Bossier City Lions Club. He was the longest standing member of First Baptist Church of Benton. As a landowner, tree farmer and cattleman, he was truly a steward of the land who loved to watch things grow.
Mr. Don was an icon of “old” Benton, where he was well known and respected around town. When he wasn’t at the farm, you would likely see him at the bank, the post office, or the café catching up on the latest news.
On September 6, 1957 he married Lydia Ann Merritt and they were married for 52 years before her passing in 2009. They have two children and three grandchildren. He is survived by his sons, Sheriff Julian Curtis Whittington and wife, Melissa McCall Whittington of Benton, LA, Justin Martin Whittington and his wife, Tanya Jenkins Whittington of Bossier City, LA. He also leaves to cherish his memory his grandchildren, Blake Martin Whittington and wife, Katy, Anna Whittington Bufkin and husband, David all of Benton, LA and Sarah Whittington Simms and husband, Thomas of Shreveport, LA; sister-in-law, Eveylyn Merritt Maranto and husband, Charles; brother-in-law, John Michael Merritt and wife, Susan and numerous nieces and nephews.
Honoring Don as pallbearers will be John Batson, Johnny Brunson, Mitch Burge, Pete Burks, Paul Hight, Mike Merritt, Reggie Quillin and Dusty Rhodes. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Jack Batson, John D “Tuttie” Bundy, Jimmy Hope, Billy Tom Johnston, Jim Thompson and “the ole” Dr. Kelly Sunday School class of First Baptist Church of Benton.
We would like to thank the directors, officers and employees of First National Bank of Benton for years of listening and tending his every request and an extra special thanks to Jack for the many Thursday night steak dinners which he enjoyed so much.
A very special thanks to Dr. Vicki Cobb, her physician assistant, Darlene Jorgenson, and staff for their years of care and concern. The family also wishes to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of Cornerstone Hospital for the excellent care and professionalism they provided.
The family suggests memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church of Benton, P. O. Box 365, Benton, LA 71006 or to the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home, P.O. Box 4196, Monroe, LA 71211.