Wendell Murray Bartlow was born December 28th, 1924 to Amos H. and Maurine (McFadden) Bartlow in Spokane, Washington. He was raised in Garfield County, near Pomeroy, Washington. He attended the Philomathian one room schoolhouse, taught by Mrs. Hood, until 6th grade and then Pomeroy Jr. and Sr. High School. He was voted Basketball MVP his senior season graduating in 1942. He attended Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho for 5 months where he met Wilma Webster. In spite of her initial assessment that he was too short, he still convinced her to marry him August 30, 1945. “Whit” and Wilma made their home in Pomeroy before moving to a house on Kuhl Ridge and then moved to their farmhouse near Mayview in 1948 just prior to the arrival of Vonnie in January of ’49. In October of ‘51 Nickie arrived, followed by Brant in ’55, Jeanine in ’58 and Kirk in ’60.
Whit loved farm life working with his brother Don and their father, Amos, for nearly 50 years. He often stated that he hated weeds and sin and not necessarily in that order. The brothers were innovators, building and selling air conditioned tractor cabs during the winter months. With the assistance of Herman Waldron, Whit modified a set of John Deere drills, a predecessor of the no-till drills of today.
Upon retiring from farming in 1991, Whit and Wilma moved into Pomeroy. Wilma passed away in February of 1993 and Whit moved to Nampa, Idaho to be closer to his children. He married Kay Web in May of ’95 and they enjoyed traveling together. Kay passed away in 2011. Kay’s daughter Pam (John) Miller, their children and grandchildren contributed much enjoyment to his life.
Whit’s love for basketball was evident in his support and encouragement of players and occasional attempts to verbally hold referees accountable, particularly at Pomeroy High, Nampa Christian, NNC and Boise State.
He was a very active member of the Pomeroy Church of the Nazarene, serving as Board Member, Sunday School Superintendent, youth leader, choir member and church basketball coach. Upon moving to Nampa he attended and served at Bethel Church of the Nazarene, assisting in development of the ball field, grading berms, spraying weeds, lawn care, welding and rebuilding chairs and singing in the choir. Throughout his life if the church doors were open, he was always there.
Whit exuded a zest for life, and often stated, “Life is a gift to be enjoyed, not a penance to be served.” Laughter was medicine and a way of life. He never met a stranger, loved work, play, service and projects. His memory was legendary, quoting stories, Lincoln, poetry, and scripture. He found joy in ordinary things, completed every job, embraced any challenge, kept his promises and lived a life of devotion, stability and conviction.
He maintained his independence, living in his home until 5 days prior to his passing.
He was preceded in death by his daughter Nickie. He is survived by his children: Vonnie McDaniel, Brant (Patty) Bartlow, Jeanine (Alan) Fitzgerald and Kirk (Sharon) Bartlow, 12 Grandchildren: Brannon (Chantal) McDaniel, Brittany (Eric) Hickman, Brady McDaniel, Chris (Dawn) Peed, Derek Bartlow, Natalie (Jarryd) Samples, Jaden Bartlow, Janessa Bartlow, Teresa Fitzgerald, Jacob (Michaela) Bartlow, Amos “Joshua” Bartlow & Jessie (Stephen) Mitchell. 10 Great Grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Whit Bartlow, follower of Christ, good and faithful servant. Home at last!
Special thanks to St. Luke's Wound Center, Home Helpers and Treasure Valley Hospice for their extraordinary care and friendship.
Memorial Service will be held Saturday September 29th at 11:00 AM at Bethel Church of the Nazarene, 3001 12th Ave Rd. Nampa.
Memorials for Trinity Pines Campground may be sent to Bethel Church of the Nazarene.