June 1928-July 2015
He was a craftsman, artist, teacher, and most of all an excellent husband, father, and grandfather. He lived a life characterized by happiness, honor, love, sincerity, wisdom, charisma, charity, health, industriousness, and creativity.
Whit was born in Spokane, Washington, the youngest of five children. A child of the Great Depression, he knew the value of a dollar and the hard work to get it, and supported himself through college by working summers on a Connell ranch. It was at Eastern Washington School of Education that he discovered not only a teaching career but also the beautiful young redhead, Esther, who would soon become his wife.
After graduation, he took a teaching job in Connell, Washington. That’s where the army found him a few months later, and he served in Japan during the Korean War. The army offered him a promotion in exchange for another six months of service, but he and Esther chose instead to begin their lives together. He took a teaching job in Colfax, Washington, where the couple began raising their three children.
With all three children then in school, they moved to Hooper, Washington, where for one year Whit and Esther taught grades one through eight in the town’s small school, then made their final move to Edmonds, Washington. Whit taught special education for the Edmonds School District, then transitioned to remedial reading at Lynndale Elementary, insuring successful school careers for students who started out with poor reading skills. After budget restrictions eliminated his job, he spent a year teaching 35 students in a fifth and sixth grade split. That was enough, for him. He really cared about the quality of everything he did, and there just wasn’t enough time to give each of his students all of the attention that they needed. He had always done his own home repairs, so it was natural for him to start a new career repairing and remodeling homes for other people.
Whit adored his wife, children, and grandchildren. He and Esther were married for 60 loving years before her passing. He is survived by his three children, Gail Workman (Mark Baclawski), Dean Workman (Laura), and Eileen Thuesen (Mark), and by his grandchildren Adrian Workman, Jessie Workman, and Todd Workman.
In his final years, dementia stole much of his memories, intellect, and gentle nature, but he was fiercely independent throughout, and he still found the spirit in the midst of his confusion to ask his family about their lives and tell them stories of his. He gave so much to all who knew him.
His family would like to give special thanks to the caregivers who supported the quality and independence of his final years: Paula Twohy, Robin Rose, and Steve Wolff. Our gratitude also to Cathy Draper, who provided regular visits and culinary treats purely out of the goodness of her heart.
There will be a memorial service to celebrate his life on August 15 at 2:00 pm, Maplewood Presbyterian Church, 19523 84th Ave W, Edmonds, WA.
May our Lord's Peace be with your family at this difficult time.
I did not know your father; I enjoyed the obituary you wrote honoring him. I was born a Workman and am always curious when I see the name. If, some day, you are interested, I have some genealogy of the Workman/Woertman family. I always wonder where everyone fits in and would like to gather more info if it is available.
--Louise M. (Workman) Weathers