Robert C. Whitmore Jr.

Robert C. Whitmore Jr., 72, passed away peacefully at home on July 28, 2019, with family by his side after battling cancer.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ruth and Craig Whitmore.
He is survived by his loving wife, Dara; his three children, Molly Campbell (Jason), Wendy Niceler (Ryan) and Michael Whitmore (Priscilla); two stepdaughters, Kate Hart (Peter) and Rebecca Horton (Jeff); 16 grandchildren, Morgan, Marley, Caleb, Rachel and Audrey Campbell, Ryan Hinckley, Adelaide and Tate Niceler, Parker, Madelyn, McKinley and Grahm Whitmore, Joona and Asa Hart, Artie and Elvin Horton; his two younger sisters, Mary Whitmore and Nancy Horton and their families; and his former spouse, Leslie.
Bob, as he was known, was an accomplished person who lived a full and successful life personally and professionally. He was born in Ohio in 1947 and raised in Southern California where he graduated with honors from Loara High School in 1965. As a boy from Anaheim, he learned to surf and worked for a time at Disneyland scaring park goers on the famous Haunted Mansion ride. Bob graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Marine Biology in 1969.
While teaching high school in Compton, Calif., and coaching the baseball team, he met and married Leslie Spickard with whom he raised his three children. In 1974, he graduated from Brigham Young University with a Ph.D. in Zoology (emphasis ornithology) even earning the high distinction of National Dissertation of the Year Award.
Bob dedicated his career to education and wildlife as a professor for over 30 years at West Virginia University, where he won the Teacher of the Year Award. His children and grandchildren remember fondly his wonderful office and lecture lab filled with taxidermy birds, live snakes and turtles to be admired and enjoyed.
On Jan. 1 2002, Bob married his highschool sweetheart and the love of his life, Dara Lynn Bruney. The two of them enjoyed visiting national parks, going to the movies and spending time with family and friends.
Bob had many hobbies and interests including wood working, gardening, model train and train club, listening to rock music and raising love birds. But his favorite thing to do was to spend time with his grandchildren. He was affectionately known as Gramps to his wonderful grandchildren who were the joys of his heart. He was actively involved in their lives attending dance recitals, theater productions, wrestling tournaments, soccer and basketball games, baptisms and graduations. He passed on his love of nature taking them bird watching, salamander hunting and on trips to the Colorado National Monument, where he served as a volunteer in the Jr. Ranger program.
Bob strived to follow the teachings and example of the Savior and was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He served in many capacities for his church and was especially passionate about teaching Sunday School and researching family history. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends who treasure the time they were blessed to have with him.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Colorado National Monument in Bob’s name.
Funeral services will be held at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 2542 G Road, Grand Junction, Colo., at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 3. Visitation will be held from 10-10:50 a.m.

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