Obituary for Bill Whitwer, the beloved former pastor of Rainbow

Services

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by: Dick Cain

02/20/2021

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Dear Rainbow Church,

Below is the obituary from Karen and Karla, the daughters of Bill Whitwer. Bill served two stints at Rainbow Pres.


We will be having Dad’s graveside service Sunday at 3:00 pm at Grace Cemetery at Madison Heights Church. Reception following.


Bill Whitwer was born one of nine children, in Tilden, Nebraska, on July 23, 1930 to Theodore G. Whitwer of Tilden, Nebraska and Bertha Kossman Whitwer of Thayngen, Switzerland.

Bill worked at The General Electric Company as he attended The University of New York in Albany. After completing his undergraduate degree in German, he moved to Los Angeles, California where he attended Fuller Theological Seminary. 


After graduation, Bill ministered for the summer in Canada before accepting a call to the staff of First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Mississippi. He later pastored The Presbyterian Church of Woodville, Mississippi, then Edwards (Mississippi) Presbyterian Church.

He met his wife, Carol Sue, when they were both counselors at McIlwain Presbyterian Youth Crusade in Pensacola, Florida. After being married, they later moved to Gadsden, Alabama, where Bill ministered to The First Presbyterian Church, and Rainbow Presbyterian Church. In early 1974, the Lord called Bill to Jackson, Mississippi, to First Presbyterian Church, where he served as the church planter. He then became the founding pastor of Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church, as well as the founding pastor of Lakeland Presbyterian Church. In 2014, Bill returned to Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church and assisted in the founding of Madison Heights Presbyterian Church.


Bill is survived by his wife of fifty years, Carol Sue Colley of Pensacola, Florida, his brother, Wayne Whitwer (wife, Carole) of San Diego, California, brother in law Captain Donald Colley of Alexandria, Virginia (wife, Harriet), his two daughters, Karla Collins (husband, Guy), and Karen Carpenter (husband, Scott) and his granddaughter, Daisy Collins, all of Madison, Mississippi, as well as several nieces and nephews.


Those who knew Bill knew his greatest love was the Lord and people! He was well known as an avid turkey and pheasant hunter. He quite often returned to Nebraska to hunt with friends and family, on his family's land. He loved potluck dinners and visiting people in their homes, as well as in the hospital. He was a pilot and a self-appointed car dealer.


The family would like to thank Debby Gooch, and all the staff at Beau Ridge Independent and Memory Care Assisted Living for all the love and care they gave Bill in the last several years.


A graveside service will be held Sunday, February 21 at 3: 00pm at Grace Cemetery in Madison, MS. The service will be live streamed. Follow the Madison Heights Church website for information to the link. 


There will be a memorial service at a later date. 


Memorials can be made to:

Christ Covenant School 

752 South Pear Orchard Road, 

Ridgeland, MS 39157 

or 

Mid-South PCA Church Planting Network, 750 South Pear Orchard Road, 

Ridgeland, MS 39157.


Follow Madison Heights Church and/or Sebrell Funeral Home websites for any changes that may have to be made for the funeral due to the winter weather.

Dear Rainbow Church,

Below is the obituary from Karen and Karla, the daughters of Bill Whitwer. Bill served two stints at Rainbow Pres.


We will be having Dad’s graveside service Sunday at 3:00 pm at Grace Cemetery at Madison Heights Church. Reception following.


Bill Whitwer was born one of nine children, in Tilden, Nebraska, on July 23, 1930 to Theodore G. Whitwer of Tilden, Nebraska and Bertha Kossman Whitwer of Thayngen, Switzerland.

Bill worked at The General Electric Company as he attended The University of New York in Albany. After completing his undergraduate degree in German, he moved to Los Angeles, California where he attended Fuller Theological Seminary. 


After graduation, Bill ministered for the summer in Canada before accepting a call to the staff of First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Mississippi. He later pastored The Presbyterian Church of Woodville, Mississippi, then Edwards (Mississippi) Presbyterian Church.

He met his wife, Carol Sue, when they were both counselors at McIlwain Presbyterian Youth Crusade in Pensacola, Florida. After being married, they later moved to Gadsden, Alabama, where Bill ministered to The First Presbyterian Church, and Rainbow Presbyterian Church. In early 1974, the Lord called Bill to Jackson, Mississippi, to First Presbyterian Church, where he served as the church planter. He then became the founding pastor of Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church, as well as the founding pastor of Lakeland Presbyterian Church. In 2014, Bill returned to Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church and assisted in the founding of Madison Heights Presbyterian Church.


Bill is survived by his wife of fifty years, Carol Sue Colley of Pensacola, Florida, his brother, Wayne Whitwer (wife, Carole) of San Diego, California, brother in law Captain Donald Colley of Alexandria, Virginia (wife, Harriet), his two daughters, Karla Collins (husband, Guy), and Karen Carpenter (husband, Scott) and his granddaughter, Daisy Collins, all of Madison, Mississippi, as well as several nieces and nephews.


Those who knew Bill knew his greatest love was the Lord and people! He was well known as an avid turkey and pheasant hunter. He quite often returned to Nebraska to hunt with friends and family, on his family's land. He loved potluck dinners and visiting people in their homes, as well as in the hospital. He was a pilot and a self-appointed car dealer.


The family would like to thank Debby Gooch, and all the staff at Beau Ridge Independent and Memory Care Assisted Living for all the love and care they gave Bill in the last several years.


A graveside service will be held Sunday, February 21 at 3: 00pm at Grace Cemetery in Madison, MS. The service will be live streamed. Follow the Madison Heights Church website for information to the link. 


There will be a memorial service at a later date. 


Memorials can be made to:

Christ Covenant School 

752 South Pear Orchard Road, 

Ridgeland, MS 39157 

or 

Mid-South PCA Church Planting Network, 750 South Pear Orchard Road, 

Ridgeland, MS 39157.


Follow Madison Heights Church and/or Sebrell Funeral Home websites for any changes that may have to be made for the funeral due to the winter weather.

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