Wayland Denzil Whitlow, 72, a gifted minister and a dedicated humanitarian, died Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, in Clearwater, Kan. A memorial service was conducted on Jan. 24.
Whitlow was born in Breckenridge, Texas, in 1942, graduated from Oklahoma Christian University
in 1964 and married Mildred “Millie” Hamm in 1967.
Following graduation, he began his first stint as a local minister in Isabel, Kan., where he met and married his wife. Later they moved to Laverne, Okla., where he preached from 1966 to 1974.
For the past 40 years, he served as the minister of the Church of Christ in Clearwater, Kan.
A lover of Bible study and a serious student of the word, he also enjoyed serving as a director for the Silver Maple Camp
in Kingman County, Kan., for many years.
Whitlow was active in Clearwater and greatly respected by many in this small community of 2,500 people.
He initially served as an Emergency Medical Technician, beginning in the early 1980s.
Upon the death of the longtime fire chief and emergency services director, he was asked to fill the position of Clearwater Emergency Services Director, becoming responsible for handling the administrative duties related to both the Fire and EMS departments.
A volunteer for the fire department for 22 years, he also worked to upgrade the EMS department, which became a paramedic-level service during his tenure, providing advanced life support to the community.
He also found time to serve as the local police chaplain. He loved serving and doing for others. People in the town came to him for help, friends said, and this opened doors of opportunity for the Church of Christ to be known in that role.
When asked why he stayed in Clearwater for such a long time, he answered, “It was just a good fit.”
The congregation also respected his Bible knowledge and was eager to work with Wayland and Millie.
During the last few years, he became involved with the Shepherds Hill International “Give a Goat” program in the Philippines.
He will be missed and cherished forever in the hearts of his family, the church and the community.
Whitlow was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Lorene (Hays) Whitlow; infant son Jerry; and son Gary Whitlow and daughter-in-law, Kimberly Whitlow, who were tragically killed by a Kansas tornado in 2009.
Survivors include Whitlow’s wife and three children: Crystal (Sean) McNiel of Lubbock, Texas; Brian (Kristin) Whitlow of Wichita, Kan.; Neal (Jayme) Whitlow of August, Kan.; sister, Norita (Syd) Morgan of Seminole, Okla.; grandchildren, Libby and Jonathan McNiel, and Jackson, Sammy, Addy, Ellison, and Grayson Whitlow.