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June 18, 2019

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Wales Whitt was a former Bluffton resident

Wales Lamar Whitt, formerly of Bluffton and most recently of Covenant Woods Retirement Community, Columbus, Ga., died Jan. 1, 2019, at Columbus Hospice.

Wales was born on Oct. 22, 1939, in Greenup County, Kentucky, to Walter and Irene Whitt.  Graduating at 16 from South Shore High School, Wales enlisted in the United States Navy in 1956 as an aviation electronics technician. Throughout his 20-year naval career, Wales was stationed across the globe.

When the Cuban Missile Crisis pressed the newest anti-submarine warfare aircraft, P-3 Orion, into service, Wales was attached to the first squadron to receive them, VP-8, and flew multiple missions.  

In Vietnam, Wales flew communications missions on P-3’s, working with ground troops, keeping them abreast of enemy movements. He received multiple promotions, awards, and medals including reaching the rank of Chief Petty Officer, 8 Naval Air Medals, and the Republic of Vietnam Air Gallantry Cross and multiple unit citations.

Wales later worked for the City of Lima, providing automation and electronic controls to their waste water treatment facility using newly developed computer systems. 

He is survived by his children Roxanne (Long) Gilliam, Keely (Long) Beale, Michelle (Gluvna) Gould, Jeffrey Whitt, and Kevin Whitt; 11 grandchildren, including Josh Brown, of Columbus Grove, and 11 great grandchildren. Wales was preceded in death by his wife Ruth, daughter Robin (Henry) Johnson, and great grandson Trenton Layne. His wife, Ruth, died in 2014 as a result of trauma sustained in an automobile accident outside Savannah.

Wales will be buried at sea off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va., later this year having his remains scattered from a P-3 Orion.