A time for heroes


On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ and the day has special meaning to those in preparation. This year, Easter 2017 will have a special meaning to the Whipkey family as they work together to host a medical benefit for one of their loved ones.

David Whipkey, Sr., was born in West Virginia, and with the aid of his brother, Bob, made it to Texas at a very young age. He has a son, David Jr., and a daughter, Lauren Whipkey. For the most part, the family lives in Leverett’s Chapel and Overton area near or on a family farm.

The senior Whipkey, at the age of 53, has been diagnosed with chronic neutrophillic leukemia, a rare form of cancer.

“One hundred or less cases of the disease have been reported in the history of the United States it is so rare,” his namesake said. “But, out of those reported 20, four have beaten the odds. We plan on being the next ones to beat the odds. But, treatment requires a full body blood and bone marrow transfusion that will take place in Dallas.”

For more than 30 years, David Sr. has worked for Norris Cylinder in Longview. He’s spent the last 20 as nighttime supervisor over the Hydro

Plant. The beginning of treatments, starting with chemo, put an early stop to his retirement and placed him on short term disability last Tuesday.

“To this day, he is the strongest man I know,” said his son. “He can’t stand not being productive and the one thing he has taught me is that no matter where you go through life make sure you do your best and take care of your responsibilities … family and responsibilities are always considered top priority.

“My father is an avid fisherman and hunter,” he continued. “He loves yard work and up until now his yard has always been pristine. His biggest complaint is not having enough energy to what he needs to do.”

David II is the Warehouse Manager for SPC Distributors at Synergy Park and is also a performer. He’s received a permit from the City of Kilgore to use the city park for the benefit, set for 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Easter Sunday.

“Any and all expenses and donations go directly to his care to help cover the three months he needs to be in Dallas,” David Jr. said. “His supervisor at SPC has been and is handling all the funds to make sure that happens.”

The benefit will feature performances from 10 local artists and musicians. All genres of musical talent will be featured throughout the afternoon. David’s own heavy metal band, Cursed Ivex, will also be playing throughout the day. The Easter Bunny, food, raffles, face painting, T-shirts, and other activities will also be available.

“All performers understand this is a family function and all music is to be family-friendly,” said David II. “My grandmother and my sister will be there helping, too, along with other family members and volunteers.”

A donation fee is being requested for admission, and attendees have access to all activities. More information can be found in their ad located in this publication.

David Sr. has attended most of his son’s performances in the past and plans on attending the benefit but only for a short while. Chemo patients are not supposed to be in the sun for a long length of time.

“I am very proud of my son standing up for me,” the elder Whipkey said. “I can’t be any prouder of him and I am very thankful for all of the support I am receiving, just so very thankful.

“We were definitely not expecting something like this. When it hits, it hits hard and we need the help to get through it.”

The Time for Heroes is now for this family. A Facebook page can be found listed as “The David Whipkey Sr. Benefit” and a GoFundMe account has been set at www.gofundme/the-david-whipkey-sr-benefit.

A REQUEST has come through to me from a 1957 classmate of Mary Jane Gore. Please contact me at the KNH news office.

IT WAS COUNTRY BOY FUN last week at the home of Don and Jana Hedrick.

“At least once a year, everybody (meaning family, friends and neighbors) bring their brush and pile it up for us to burn. I cook a pot of beans and we will have a wiener and marshmallow roast while the brush is burning,” said Don. “We always have a good time,” and 19 people arrived for this particular brush burn.

May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Hearts and Your Homes Throughout the Week. In the meantime, we may be reached at or 903-984-2593.


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