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Archie  Kent Whittemore

Obituary for Archie Kent Whittemore

July 2, 1945 - May 17, 2018
Austin, Texas | Age 72


Archie Kent Whittemore was born July 2, 1945 to Kent L. and Grace (Clarkson) Whittemore. He was raised in Spearfish, in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Even as a toddler, he loved vehicles and pretended his trike was a tractor. When it got "stuck," he wrapped strings around the wheels as "chain."

His parents instilled in him the love of the outdoors from yard work to camping and hunting to chopping and hauling firewood. He learned that owning things came with the responsibility of maintaining them, and he and his dad and brother spent many hours in the family garage rebuilding and repairing a variety of old cars.

He learned to parent by example as his parents were den mothers and scout masters and biggest fans on the sports field or for the band concert. He learned patience by allowing his younger sister to follow him around and by getting her out of one misadventure after another. For two years at the end of junior high and the beginning of high school he worked on his grandparents' homestead for his cousin's family. With his younger brother, he served not only as a hired hand, but as the constant companion of the four young children in the household who learned to love him as an older brother. A medical emergency where doctors saved the life of the youngest of those children inspired him to be a doctor. Family held a paramount importance for Archie.

Upon graduation in 1963, Archie turned down a football scholarship as he wanted to focus on the academic rigors of the pre-med program at the University of South Dakota at Vermillion. Honoring the hard-work ethic of his parents, he worked as a House Boy at a sorority at the university. One of the women was from a neighboring town back in the Black Hills. He offered her a ride home. The rest, they say, is history. By the time he had graduated from USD in 1967, and before he became a member of the first graduating class of the University of Texas UT Health Science Center at San Antonio in 1970, he was married to LaNyce Kahler in 1969.

Internship at St. Paul Ramsey Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, followed. From there, because he had finished school on a deferment from the Vietnam War that required he serve stateside, he and LaNyce moved to Morgan's Point, Texas, where Archie served in the US Army at Darnell Army Hospital from 1972-1974. Daughter Erica was born while they were there.

Archie's General Surgery Residency was at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and Bexar County Hospital (1971-1972), and his Orthopedic Residency was UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and Bexar County Hospital (1974-1978) Son Jason was born during that residency.

His first practice was in Boulder, Colorado but Texas called, and in 1982 the family returned, this time to Austin where they have lived ever since. And living is just what they did. Archie and LaNyce spent boundless time, energy, enthusiasm and love raising their children.

Erica loved horses, so they welcomed her little horse Snowbee, and the whole family watched her show horses for more than a decade. Archie was her proudest fan.

Jason loved sports and moved from soccer to football while his family watched, and Archie was his proudest fan.

The kids gathered friends, and Archie embraced them all as part of the family. Lots of boys spent time in front of the garage tinkering with one vehicle or another. Boy Scout Troop 454 that Archie helped found for Jason and his friends just celebrated its 25th year.

Family was paramount for Archie, and the family spent time with the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and shirt-tail relatives, even when it meant traveling great distance. The home was always open, and Arch and LaNyce were always smiling at the door in welcome. With LaNyce as the hostess and Archie manning the grill, the couple's dinner or yard parties for friends or for family were events.

As the children grew and moved away Archie turned his attention to a new passion: the Ranch. He purchased land with hills and gullies, pastures and woods, and a creek winding alongside gracious Live Oaks. He built a barn, a gun range, and a set of bluebird houses. He tinkered on an antique tractor and added four-wheelers and a side-by-side. He added two Longhorn steers, and threw himself into the dream he shared with LaNyce to return the land to its native state. They spent weekends and Archie's Wednesdays off at the Ranch. The kids married, and Erica's Allen and Jason's Jenny became part of the family, a bonus son and daughter. Then the grandkids arrived, and Archie and LaNyce embraced loving a new generation.

It became tradition for his brother to spend part of the winter at the ranch, and then his sister and husband came to spend time as well. "I've got a project," he'd say, and everyone, kids, grandkids, siblings, or friends joined in to help. The fifteen acres planted just this spring to native grasses and wildflowers is thriving.

His love for the land and for hunting led him to be part of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and as with everything he was part of, he was fully involved.

Archie was a Life Member, Habitat Partner, Donor, and has been one of the TX State Chairs for the past eight (8) years. He was a long-time volunteer on the Austin Chapter and served in all positions on that chapter.

All of this activity went on while Archie lived a profession he loved. Every patient, every colleague, every coworker was touched by his life and his love of life. His employment and professional affiliations include The Orthopaedic Group, 1982-2008, and Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates, 2008 – 2014. Associations & Affiliations were Travis County Medical Society, Texas Medical Association, American Medical Association, National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame, Inc., Alamo Orthopaedic Society, Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Diplomate, American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Texas Society of Sports Medicine, and of course, Texas Orthopaedic Association (TOA), of which he served as president from 2004-2005.

Retirement meant a full-time return to ranch life, mechanics, a big green tractor, hunting, stewardship of the land, and grand-parenting. A ranch is a place for so many life lessons for a Papa and his grandchildren. There were rules for the 4-wheelers and lessons on the shooting range to start the hunters. There were fish in the creek and rocks to climb. There were elaborate breakfasts and the art of pancake making to be taught. The question of ice cream after dinner was never "if you finish," but "what flavor and how many scoops."

He was preceded in death by his parents, Kent and Grace Whittemore and his father-in-law Henry Kahler and brother-in-law Lelund Kahler. He is survived by his wife LaNyce, children Erica (Allen) Riney, and Jason (Jenny) Whittemore, grandchildren Reid and Ryan Riney and Kent and Ellie Whittemore, mother-in-law Joyce Kahler, brother Joe Whittemore, sisters Mariagnes Caron and Linda (Rick) Rothermel, numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins, myriad friends, and Maddie, a black lab pup that was supposed to be LaNyce's.

A Memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at The Smith Chapel at Riverbend , 4214 N. Capital of TX Hwy., Austin, Texas 78746.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in memory of Archie Whittemore.

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  • Memorial contributions may be made to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in memory of Archie Whittemore.

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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