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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 Always.

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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