Norman E. F. Whitson
Memorial service for Norman E. F. Whitson will be 10:00 a.m., Friday, August 16, 2019 in Lawton Heights United Methodist Church, formerly Lawton Heights Church of the Nazarene, 1707 NW Lincoln Avenue, with Rev. Jack Terrell-Wilkes, Pastor officiating.
Burial with military honors will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens under direction of Becker-Rabon Funeral Home.
The family will greet friends at the funeral home on Thursday, August 15, 2019 from 5:30 -6:30 p.m.
Norman E. F. Whitson, age 78, Lawton, died Friday, August 2, 2019 in Oklahoma City. He was born November 5, 1940 in Syracuse, New York to James Ellis and Dora (Rudd) Whitson. He grew up in Marcellus, New York and graduated from Marcellus Central High School. Norman attended Tri-State University, Cameron University and ultimately graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a B.S. in Aviation Management. He married Roberta (Bobbi) Martinez in Lawton, Oklahoma on December 23, 1967. He did Post graduate work in Education at Daytona Beach University. Norman worked as Chief of Security at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Ormond Beach, Florida while attending college, and also worked as an ER Admissions Clerk at Ormond Beach Osteopathic Hospital.
Norman served in the US Army for 8 years as a US Army Aviator, having served in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged as a Major in 1972. He attended Primary Rotary Flight School at Fort Wolters, Texas, and attended Advanced Rotary Flight School at Fort Rucker, Alabama. He had duty stations at Fort Sill, Fort Wolters, Texas (Mineral Wells), Fort Rucker, Alabama, Fort Stewart, Georgia and served in Vietnam with the 9th Infantry Division. During his service he earned numerous awards and citations. MAJ Whitson received the Army Aviator badge, the Air Medal with V device, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal, the Vietnam Commendation Medal with 60 device and the Vietnam Service Medal. After his discharge from the Army, Norman worked civil service, where he retired from Fort Sill in 2016. During his time in Lawton, he was the District Executive with the Boy Scouts of America Black Beaver Council, Lawton, Oklahoma and was a substitute teacher for Lawton Public Schools. He and his wife Bobbi were volunteer hosts for international students through Fort Sill, and volunteered at the International Festival in Lawton for many years. He was a member of the VFW, the American Legion, the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, and the Boy Scouts of America Order of the Arrow, Black Beaver Council of Lawton, Oklahoma. Norman was a member of the Lawton North West Kiwanis Club, where he was awarded “Outstanding Secretary” in the Texas –Oklahoma District. He enjoyed fishing, golfing and bowling. He will be greatly missed by the community as well as by his family and friends.
He is survived by his wife of the home, his daughter Serena W. Beckett and husband John, his three grandchildren, Whitney, Anastasia and Christopher and his wife Jordan, a great grandbaby that’s on the way, two sisters, Leila Austin and Marilyn Powell, both of New York; numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews, extended family
Gary Fahle and wife Lory, Jana Rosenkranz and family, Senovia Fahle, Gary Fahle II, Ben Cross and family, Loren Gray and family, Mollie Jackson and family, Candy Guzman, Bryce Sahr, Keith Sahr and Jordan Hall.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his two brothers, James and Ronnie Whitson, and five sisters, Beatrice Nebbia, Eloise Curtis, Audrey Riggall, Penny Graham and Joyce DeGagne.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, to the OU Cancer Research Foundation or to the MacArthur High School Music Program or to an organization of the donor’s choice.
An online guest book and sympathy cards are available at www.beckerfuneral.com.