Lester “Les” Venear Whiddon, Jr., 76, of Vero Beach, FL, passed away peacefully on October 25, 2015, after being cared for at home during a 10-month-long battle with cancer.

He was born on March 31, 1939 in Fort Pierce to Daisy Madeline (Hall) and Lester V. Whiddon, Sr. In 1964 he graduated from The Citadel with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration where he earned the nickname of “Pops” which is still used by his grandchildren. He earned a Master of Arts in Education from Pepperdine University in 1974, which helped him train college students in R.O.T.C. Les served 20 years in the US Army during which time he obtained the rank of Major. Also he was a veteran of the Vietnam War and earned numerous honors and recognition including the bronze star medal and the Combat Infantry Badge.

After the marriage to his current wife, Elizabeth Benanzer, he would joke and say he became a “snow bird by marriage,” spending his time between Florida and Michigan. Les enjoyed gardening, earning the title of Master Gardener, line dancing with his wife, eating and cooking good food, traveling and fishing. Gifted with the ability to bring a smile and laugh out of all who knew him, Les will be greatly missed.

Les Whiddon is survived by his wife Elizabeth Benanzer, his daughter Caroline Miller of Ft. Pierce, son-in-law Terry, son David Whiddon, M.D. of Palm Harbor and daughter-in-law Theresa, and his sister, Patricia Coppedge of Longwood FL. He also leaves behind grandchildren Brigham Miller, Finleigh Miller, Olivia Whiddon and John David (J.D.) Whiddon. He is also survived by his stepdaughter Claire Sparklin, her husband Jason Karas and their children Jude, Cicely, Josephine and Roman. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Lenore (McNulty) Whiddon and his parents.

The Strunk Funeral Home of Vero Beach is overseeing his cremation. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Visiting Nurses Association Hospice of Indian River County at 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, Florida 32960, or to a charity of your choice.

Posted in: Strunk Funeral Home

Posted on: 2015-11-03

Link to original obituary: http://www.strunkfuneralhome.com/memsol.cgi?user_id=1689582