Edgar E. Witherspoon
Edgar Eugene “Gene” Witherspoon of Ipswich left
this Earth just two days shy of his eightieth birthday. He was fortunate
enough to have all three of his doting daughters by his side to see him
through to his next journey.
Born July 3, 1941, on the eve of Independence Day
in Chase City, VA to the late Bertie Florence (Self) Witherspoon and
Roscoe Calvin Witherspoon, Gene spent his early years on a one
hundred-sixty acre vegetable and tobacco farm, learning about the land.
His love for gardening and the outdoors is a trait that clung to him
throughout his life.
Gene moved to Lynn in 1960 to be closer to his
half-brother, Ernest Poole. While in Massachusetts, he took on many odd
jobs which included working in a glue factory, a screen door manufacturer,
and a lightbulb maker, while waiting for his big break, getting a job at
General Electric in 1979. The favorite of all of his jobs was at Shetland
Vacuum in Salem, where he was happily employed for many years.
Being social came easy to Gene. He always had a
funny story. Always. Being unfiltered and utterly truthful to a fault
earned him at times quite a few raised eyebrows, but also many respected
him for telling it just the way it was. This was one of the most admirable
qualities most cherished by those who loved him.
After meeting his second wife, Diane Comeau in
Ipswich in the early 1970’s, he settled down and had three girls, Melissa
Witherspoon of Boxford, Megan Isaacson of Salt Lake City, UT and Marnie
Witherspoon of Essex. Although Gene worked both second and third shift at
General Electric for the good of his family, he still found the energy to
be a wonderful father. Many times he went above and beyond what most
fathers would do on just a few hours of sleep simply to put a smile on his
young girls’ faces - chasing the ice cream truck around the block when it
was missed, working on old Volkswagen diesels during the weekend so his
daughters could know their way around a car and arranging elaborate
Christmas light displays to appease his girls.
His kind heart had him known in his long-time
neighborhood of Great Neck in Ipswich as the man that would help out “just
because”. Many times he cleared several neighbors’ driveways after his own
during heavy snowstorms, or even mowed their lawns in the summer when they
themselves were too frail to do so. He committed countless acts of
kindness truly expecting nothing in return. He did it just because it was
right and good.
Known for his head-turning one-liners and hilarious
conversation starters, Gene won many hearts along the way in his journey.
He didn’t ask for much in life and truly loved the simple things; a car
race on a Sunday afternoon, the sun on his shoulders, watching leaves bend
in the wind, or the anticipation of a Patriots game. It was really the
little things that made him tick.
Later in life, he would
come to delight in his grandchildren’s happiness, Lily, Hanna and Claire
Isaacson of Salt Lake City, UT and James Rex of Boxford. Gene’s world
revolved around seeing his daughters and grandchildren. He never took any
of it for granted, and Gene was wise enough to realize how precious this
life really is.
Pops, saying we Love You falls so very
short of the feeling which radiates within each of us. You can rest now.
Please watch over us and believe that you will live in our Hearts for
Gene’s Memorial Service
will be privately held later this month. His daughters, Melissa, Megan and
Marnie would whole-heartedly appreciate any kind notes, messages and/or
cards of condolence and remembrance. Any pictures or funny stories you
have of Gene to share (we know there are many!), his daughters would
lovingly cling onto should you have the time to send them. Please direct
all cards to his eldest daughter, Melissa Witherspoon at 17 Inverness
Circle, Boxford, MA
01921. Arrangements are under the
direction of the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich.
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