JOSEPH PATRICK WHITBY
Joseph Patrick Whitby was born in Muskogee, OK, on August 8, 1932, the fourth of five children to James Herbert Whitby and Bonnie Elizabeth (Killingsworth) Whitby. The family moved to Lakewood, CA in 1946 and to Tehachapi, CA in 1948, where Joe attended Tehachapi High School. He played college baseball and basketball and graduated in 1950.
In 1952 he married Gaylee Hayes, with whom he has two sons, Michael and Patrick. In the same year he was drafted into the army, where he served until 1954.
Five years later, Joe began his long law enforcement career by becoming a correctional officer at the Tehachapi Institution for Men. As a lark, he passed the California Highway Patrol exam and was surprised when he was accepted as an officer. In 1962 he began his CHP career in the San Fernando Valley. A herniated disc brought him to the hospital, where he met Nadine (Waldvogel) Whitby, who worked as a registered nurse. They married on February 14, 1967 and have two daughters, Juli Elizabeth and Jennifer Lynn.
After 20 years of loyal service in the CHP, advancing the ranks to sergeant and lieutenant, Joe was promoted to area commander of the Mojave CHP office, where he served an additional six years until he retired in 1988. Not yet ready to fully retire, Joe began accident reconstruction for insurance companies, became a private investigator, and worked as a dealer-driver for Jim Burke Ford for 11 years.
In addition to his law enforcement career, Joe served in the Military Reserve for 20 years and retired as Chief Petty Officer in 1995. He also served his community in various positions including President of the Tehachapi Hospital Board and President of the Kern County Civil Services Commission. Joe served in Kiwanis for over 30 years, chairing fundraising committees and serving as president from 1991-1992 and vice governor from 2004-2005.
Joe died on October 8, 2021 at Bakersfield Heart Hospital with Nadine by his side. His parents and all four siblings preceded him in death, leaving behind his wife, children and six grandchildren. He was loved by many and we will miss him very much.
Published by Bakersfield Californian on November 7, 2021.