Glenn Lindsay Whittingham, 66, passed away in his sleep on May 29th, 2020, surrounded by residents and caregivers of Glory Adult Foster Home in Beaverton, Oregon.
Glenn was the third child of Walter and Rachel Whittingham in Brooklyn, New York City, on June 4th, 1953, the lone boy who grew up alongside three sisters. Although his father passed when he was young, Glenn took after his machinist Dad by having an affectionate knack for tools and hardware, as evidenced by the wooden name plate he carried with him from place to place, which he made himself in a woodworking class. In high school he attended Grace Conservative Baptist Church in Nanuet, New York, and received a certificate from Manhattan Bible Institute where one of his aunts, Vivian Jones, was a professor.
His sister Judith recalls Glenn’s involvement in the church men's group, and in particular a time when he volunteered to help with a youth camping trip. Leaving vehicles behind, they backpacked five miles to the campsite, and although not particularly athletic, Glenn was very enthusiastic about communing with nature and had learned quite a bit about the local population of bears. During the nights, the other campers were even subject to bear-like sounds emanating from Glenn’s sleeping area, which turned out to be his snoring! His snoring, however, turned out to be a boon for the camping group. Later that week, the campers awoke to find bear tracks around the tents, with tracks leading both to and away from Glenn. They concluded that Glenn’s snoring scared away the bears, and kept them all safe.
After relocating with his mother to Oregon from New York, Glenn was an active participant in various churches over the three decades he lived in the Portland area, including Irvington Covenant Church, Highland Christian Center, and New Direction Church of God in Christ. He was active in Bible studies, where he was quick to offer Biblical insights through analogies related to tools and woodworking, never failing to remind others that Jesus was The Great Carpenter.
As part of his professional development he also took classes at Portland Community College, and earned several certifications, including a July 1988 Certificate of Completion of “The Dispensations” from Leadership Training Bible School and Faith Temple Bible School, signed by Bishop S. Buxton from New York.
Although certain health struggles made it difficult for him to live completely independently, he still prioritized being out-and-about, and always made friends at his various hangouts, which included libraries, discount stores, and the Lloyd Center mall in northeast Portland. In later years, he made many friends in the various facilities where he received residential and/or medical care, including Providence ElderPlace Laurelhurst, Better Living Care Homes, and Glory Adult Care Home. No matter where he was, his sly sense of humor and grasp of trivia helped people to remember his name.
Glenn loved playing chess, being around nature, watching movies, listening to music, and making food for people -- including homemade ice cream, which in his younger days he learned to make with a hand-crank mixer. That was Glenn -- even his food delicacies required the use of certain important tools.
As his health gradually declined and his end grew nearer, Glenn was determined to live on his own terms and spend as many of his final days as he could among friends and family. He did not fear death, and did not want artificial life support. “Just let me go,” he once said, “and know I’m in the hands of the Most High Physician. As it’s inscribed over the surgeon’s entrance at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, ‘Healing cometh from the Most High.’”
Glenn was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Rachel Whittingham, sisters Faith and Esther Whittingham, grandnephew Jeremiah Howell, and many others. He is survived by sister Judith Adams, nephews Daniel Adams (Kamelah), Timothy Adams (LaQuita), Jelani Greenidge (Holly), Jomo Greenidge (Rebecca), nieces Camille Bass (Lowell), Rachelle Greenidge, and a host of cousins and other family members.
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