Billy Joe "Bill" Whisenhunt, 87, died May 9, 2020, at Great Plains Health. He was born Dec. 3, 1932, to Davis and Ollie Whisenhunt in Montgomery County, Arkansas. Billy attended schools in Glenwood, Mount Ida, and Caddo Gap, Arkansas, graduating from Caddo Gap High School. He then graduated from Henderson State Teachers College in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. On Feb. 25, 1953, Billy entered the United States Army Military Police and was honorably discharged on Feb. 14, 1955. His duty assignments included Washington, D.C., and Japan. On Nov. 23, 1957, he married Sharon Rose in Texarkana, Texas. His teaching career included elementary school teacher, boys elementary basketball coach, girls high school basketball coach, boys and girls high school golf coach and elementary principal in Benkelman and Baggs, Wyoming, where he retired. In 1984 Bill coached Benkelman High School's girls basketball team to their first-ever state tournament appearance, an exciting game down to the buzzer, which ended in a 28-31 loss to Walthill. Billy's guiding principle as a professional public educator, coach and administrator, may be summed up as, "The best interests of the kids must always come first." He was preceded in death by his parents; infant brother, Claude; sister, Virginia (Robert) Padgett; brothers, Barney (Ruth) Whisenhunt and Bobby Whisenhunt. Survivors include his wife, Sharon of North Platte; daughter, Karin Whisenhunt of North Platte; sons, David (Cindy) Whisenhunt of Billings, Montana, and Doug Whisenhunt of Maxwell; sister-in-law, Joyce (Bobby) Whisenhunt of Mount Ida, Arkansas, Roy (Vesta) Whisenhunt of Carl Junction, Missouri; and seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Memorials are suggested to Special Olympics Nebraska, 9427 F Street, Omaha, NE 68127. Burial was at Fort McPherson National Cemetery, near Maxwell. Adams and Swanson Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this obituary incorrectly stated that Whisenhunt was the first Benkelman High School girls basketball coach. Lynette Stevens coached the first BHS girls team in 1975-76.
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