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In Memory

Jim Whitmer




James A. Whitmer

Oct. 26, 1930 - Feb. 22, 2018

SOUTH BEND - James Arthur Whitmer, 87, of South Bend, IN, passed away on Thursday, February 22, 2018. Jim was born in South Bend on October 26, 1930 to the late Arthur Devere and Mary Genevieve (Hawkins) Whitmer. On April 1, 1956, Jim married Sylvia Diehl at Grace Lutheran Church in Elkhart.

A longtime resident of the South Bend area, Jim attended Riley High School, where he played football and basketball, and was inducted into the Riley High School Athletic Hall of Fame. After high school, he attended Purdue University, where he played varsity football and was a proud member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity at Purdue. After college, he began his career as a teacher and football coach, working for the Maumee, OH School District before being hired as a teacher and head football coach at Riley High School for the South Bend Community School Corporation, where he worked until his retirement in 1991, after 35 years. Throughout his football career both as a player and a coach, he was inducted into the Indiana College Football Hall of Fame, and was a member of the National Coaches Association and the National Football Coaches Association. He was a member of the John Purdue Club and Life Member of Purdue Alumni Association.

Jim was playing varsity football until he was drafted into the United States Army. He served his country proudly from 1952-1954. During his time with the U.S. Army he played football, mostly in Austria and Germany. After serving his country, Jim returned to Purdue University, where he continued his varsity football career. He was a member of the P. Men's Athletic Club Honor Society. He graduated from Purdue University in 1956. Jim was invited and played in the North/South game in December 1955, in Miami, FL. He was drafted by the Pittsburg Steelers, but declined to start his teaching career.

Jim is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sylvia; his two sons, Jim (Evelyn) Whitmer of Schoolcraft, MI and David (Patty) Whitmer of Union, MI; seven grandchildren, Erin (Paul) Cook of Portage, MI, Jim S. (Amber) Whitmer of Mattawan, MI, Gregory (Cassidy) Whitmer of Portage, MI, Cheri (Carl) Uhrmann of Blue Jay, CA, David (Chantal) Whitmer Jr. of Fontana, CA, Brad D. (Kristin) Whitmer of Ontario, CA, and Jamie M. Whitmer of Atlanta, GA; eight great-grandchildren, Caleb, Kait, Anna, and Samuel Cook, Madelyn Whitmer, and Madison, Charlie, and Jack Uhrmann; brother, Donn (Betty) Whitmer of Venice, FL; brother-in-law, Richard Overmyer; and 1st cousin, Melvin (Janet) Marcedis of Ft. Mill, SC. Jim is also survived by his niece, Mindy McClellan of Buffalo Grove and a nephew, Jeff Morris of Chapmansboro, TN; two nieces, Beth Krom of South Bend and Kathy Carter of Port Richey, FL; and three nephews, Harry (Jennifer) Whitmer of Orlando, FL, Mike Whitmer of Panama City, FL, and Randy (Annette) Whitmer of Sarasota, FL. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Betty Morris of Buffalo Grove, IL and Mary Overmyer of South Bend, IN; his brother, Robert D. Whitmer; his nephew, Jerry Overmeyer of South Bend, IN; and niece, Lori Lewis of South Bend, IN.

Funeral Services for Jim will be on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 11:00 AM, at Palmer Funeral Home - Guisinger Chapel, 3718 S. Michigan St., South Bend, IN 46614. Friends may visit with the family on Friday, March 2 from 4:00-7:00 PM and on Saturday for one hour prior to services at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions in honor of James A. Whitmer may be made to the Center for Hospice Care, 111 Sunnybrook Ct., South Bend, IN 46637; or to Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.

02/25/2018  JFC

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08/31/23 03:50 PM #1    

Diane Ayer (Davis) (1974)

Mr. Whitmer, I was so sorry to hear of your passing.  I loved you as a homeroom teacher and health teacher.  You were a great guy and easy to talk to.  

Rest in peace.


Diane Ayer Davis, Riley Class of '74






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