Patrolman Welsey Whittenberg
Wesley Whittenberg was born on December 28, 1923, to Lester William Whittenberg and Essie A. Freels in Elk City, Oklahoma. The family moved to Washington State where his father worked on a farm. Wesley Whittenberg attended schools in Yakima, along with his siblings Leo, Oleta, Welsey and Kenneth.
As a junior in high school, Wesley Whittenberg left to join the United States Navy serving from December 1943 to May 1946 aboard naval ships as a radio operator. Wesley Whittenberg successfully received his high school General Equivalency Degree at the end of his military service.
He began his career with the Washington State Highway Patrol in 1948 as a vehicle inspector in Yakima. He became a radio operator the next year.
Wesley Whittenberg married the love of his life, Ina Rose Martin, on September 30, 1949. Their family would grow to include their five daughters: Sandy, Judy, Marilyn, Sue and Linda.
Wesley Whittenberg’s career with the Washington State Highway Patrol lead to becoming a member of the 15th Trooper Cadet Class. He was commissioned November 1, 1950 and assigned to Pasco. He transferred to Everett the following month.
Patrolman Wesley Whittenberg died on December 29, 1960, at the age of 37. He was struck by a car while investigating a collision on the Stillaguamish River Bridge on U.S. 99, north of Marysville. At the time of his death, Patrolman Whittenberg had served ten years with the Washington State Highway Patrol as a Patrolman.
Patrolman Whittenberg's wife, Ina, passed away in 2015. At the time of Patrolman Whittenberg's death, he had four daughters and his wife was pregnant with their fifth daughter.
Patrolman Whittenberg's youngest daughter, Sandy, lives in Lake Stevens. She has three children and seven grandchildren. Judy lives in Gig Harbor and has one daughter. Marilyn lives in Everson and has two children and three grandchildren. Sue lives in Seattle. Linda passed away in 1990 and had two children.
In May of 1998, Trooper Whittenberg was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for his actions on December 29, 1960, by the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Committee.
Please take a moment to remember Patrolman Whittenberg and his family.
Flowers were placed on Patrolman Wesley Whittenberg's gravesite December 29, 2020 to honor his 60 year anniversary.