Survivors include his wife, Jewel Whited; daughters, Jada Burton (Chuck) and Rana Morse (Brent); grandchildren, Ty Burton (Jordan), Anna Morris (Brayden), Matthew Mays, James Morse, Tyler Morse, Clayton Morse; great granddaughters, Aly and Ryleigh Burton; and many other relatives and friends.
James Sidney Whited was born and raised in Honaker, Va. During his younger years he worked beside his parents running their family Feed and Seed/grocery store and a restaurant, Sids Grill, in downtown Honaker. He graduated from Honaker High School in 1954. Jim continued his education by earning an Electrical Engineering degree at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. After graduating from VPI he began his engineering career at Radford Arsenal to work on many projects including the Honest John Missile. It was here that Dwight Farmer introduced him to Jewel Howard, his beautiful, brown-eyed, wife of 62 years. They married and traveled to St. Petersburg, Fla. where he worked for Honeywell on Missile guidance systems, started their family, and had their first daughter. After a few years in Florida they moved to Bristol, Va to be closer to his parents during his father’s battle with lung cancer. During this time, he worked for Sperry Faragot designing missile detection systems. In time, they moved to Radford, where he was hired by Corwin Matthews to work for Inland Motors designing motor drive systems for Eastman Kodak and had their second daughter. Around 1970 they purchased land in Fairlawn and started Polyester Trailer Park. This mobile home park is still in operation today with tenants that are just like family. After many years and patents later with Inland Motor, he decided to branch out on his own and created Lunsford Systems Inc., designing a Power Factrol Control Unit that he would later sell to Kollmorgen.
He eventually retired from Kollmorgen and bought a crane. In typical Jim Whited fashion, he jumped into this new career as owner/operator of Whited Crane Service. This provided many good days with friend Jon Wyatt. Jon shared, “it was always a pleasure when Jim showed up to share the goings on in the neighborhood and solve my electrical problems.”
Despite all the moves and career shifts, one constant in Jim’s life has been his love for music. Whether it was playing bass with the “Old Pros”, taking his daughters out to listen to music at local establishments, waking everyone in the house with loud music through his theater quality speakers while playing along on his guitar or trumpet, or just always humming a little tune, Jim loved music. He spent his retirement enjoying family and friends, riding his motorcycles, and feeding his deer. Many knew Jim/Daddy/Papaw for his incredible smarts and busy mind that was simply, always working. But those closest to him will also remember him for his unique humor, musical talents, and endless love for his family.
We are comforted knowing he passed peacefully surrounded by his family.
We are so thankful for the good people and special family that have traveled this journey with us. We would like to thank two precious and loving caregivers that God sent our way, Teresa Smith and Afton Parker, “thank you” will never be enough.
The family will receive friends 12 – 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5, 2024, at Mullins Funeral Home & Crematory in Radford. Funeral services will begin at 2 p.m. with Rev. Duane Minnick officiating. Entombment will follow in Highland Memory Gardens Mausoleum in Dublin.
The Whited family is in the care of the Mullins Funeral Home & Crematory in Radford.