Obituary: Forest Merle Wilhite |

Obituary: Forest Merle Wilhite

Forest Merle Wilhite

Oct. 24, 1931 – Jan. 6, 2015

Forest Merle Wilhite was born Oct. 24, 1931, in Bakersfield, California, and died Jan. 6, 2015, in Denver, Colorado.

Merle graduated from Bakersfield High School in 1950 and Northrup Aeronautical Institute in Hawthorne, California, in April 1953.

He began his career at Douglas Aircraft Company in Santa Monica, California, from 1954-1962, then transferred to the Testing Division at Edwards AFB, California. He retired from Lockheed Missiles & Space Company in Denver, Colorado, in 1992, after a long career in the aerospace industry.

Merle had many interests. He was a licensed private pilot, loved music and played the cello with the Bakersfield Philharmonic Orchestra. He played baseball, and learned to ski in 1961 in Sun Valley, Idaho. He served on Arapahoe Basin volunteer ski patrol from 1971 to 2001. He and Dorothy then coordinated the A-Basin volunteer host program until 2014. He was a devoted husband, father, friend and a man of deep faith.

Merle is survived by his wife of 63 years, Dorothy of Denver, Colorado, daughters Kathy Wilhite of Colorado Springs, Leslie Moore (Dennis) of Buena Vista; brother Bryan Wilhite (Sharon) of Oregon, sisters Barbara Williams of Bakersfield, California, Bonnie Killion (Dale) of Apple Valley, California, Pat Giles (Jerry) of Long Beach, California, and Pam Williams (Dale) of Virginia Beach, Virginia.

A Celebration of Merle’s life will be held on Friday, Jan. 23 at 3 p.m. at Dillon Community Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to National Jewish Health, 1400 Jackson St. Denver, CO 80206-2761, attn.: Laurie Van Sickle, Development Office; Dillon Community Church Building Fund, PO Box 1979, Dillon, CO 80435; or Gideons of Summit County.

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