Inez Elizabeth Whitmore

October 14, 1920 ~ March 14, 2018 (age 97)

Inez Elizabeth Whitmore (née Kull)

Inez Elizabeth may have been the fourth generation born to the name, but she forged a life that was all her own.

Inez joined her parents, Walter Kull and Inez Allen, on October 14, 1920, as their first and only child (not counting Andy, the black and white family cat). Inez attended Kennedy Elementary School (before its transformation to hipster hotel), wowing the teachers to such a degree that they skipped her forward two grades. She graduated from Jefferson High School at the ripe-old-age of 16.

Initiating what would become a family tradition by attending Oregon State for college, Inez focused her studies on biology, joined the Sigma Kappa sorority, and seized whatever opportunities she could to experience the world on her own terms (including precariously clinging to the running board of a friend’s car to attend a sports event in a neighboring town; tamping towels along the bottom of the sorority room door to disguise past-curfew socializing; and refusing to join the Daughters of the American Revolution out of principle after their snubbing of opera singer Marian Anderson).

After graduating from college in 1941 and receiving the sage admonition from her father that a man did not constitute a financial plan, Inez entered the working world for more than a decade, taking a job as a lab technician in the field of microbiology and moving into a cramped apartment with one of her girlfriends.

Eventually, Inez met her future husband, Thomas Rodney Whitmore, at the Pago Pago tiki bar. They were married in 1952, and thereafter welcomed two daughters, Patricia Grace and Kathy Anne, in quick succession. (Such quick succession that the younger of these Irish Twins, colicky Kathy, claims her mother lacked the energy to take a single picture of her until she was almost three years old).

At a slightly more sedate pace, Inez ultimately bore three more children: Thomas Walter, Molly Jane, and John Rodney, the last of whom gave her the ultimate gift of arriving on Mother’s Day. With that, Inez officially left behind her quiet upbringing as a cousin-less only-child to head a bustling household. Fortunately, Thomas and Inez managed to sneak away from the kids now and then for his company parties (the steamship variety of which were particularly notorious for their glamor, decadence, and occasional hangover).         

Even after their children were grown and she lost her husband and her son Tom, Inez continued to experience the world. She travelled multiple times with Patricia and Molly, to destinations like Europe and San Francisco; made an annual trek to Ashland for the Shakespeare Festival with her daughters and granddaughter; and regularly enjoyed a plate of crispy General Tso’s chicken with her grandson and children at the family’s favorite restaurant.

Inez’s children and grandchildren will forever miss her diamond wit, her playful laugh, and her warm heart and quiet grace.

Please join in celebrating Inez’s life on Friday, April 6, 2018 at 11:00 am at All Saints Episcopal Church, 4033 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202. 

In lieu of flowers donations may be made in her memory to the Salvation Army.

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