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James (Jim) Patrick Whipple

Dec 16, 2016

James (Jim) Patrick Whipple, age 74, of Charles Town, passed away peacefully at Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg on Dec. 5, 2016, following a number of health issues that he had faced bravely for some time.

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Whipple retired to Charles Town after work as a policeman, private detective and security guard. He had also served in the U.S. Army. He attended Montreat-Anderson College in North Carolina.

With a love for travel, he hitch-hiked across the country as a youth and later made yearly trips to Arizona, afavorite setting.

In retirement, he became a writer, doing a personal blog and writing columns for The Shepherdstown Chronicle. He was also a poet, playwright and director at the Old Opera House in Charles Town and an actor in 39 shows there. He is especially remembered for his Santa Claus roles on stage and in local stores, a role he was well-suited to with his white beard, hearty laugh and twinkling eyes. Most recently, his play, “Who Knows Why,” was performed at The Black Box theater in Shepherdstown in July.

An avid student of history, especially Charles Town history, Whipple was a leader of the community group that waged a successful seven-year battle to save the historically-designated old jail-house on George Street for adaptive re-use (now serving as Family Court).His interest in news and politics led him to many City Council meetings and trips to Washington, D.C. A life-long love of baseball and football (The Senators, now Nationals, and the Redskins) meant time with friends and a good cigar. His pleasure in crossword puzzles and old movies made him a trivia expert.

Whipple lived on South George Street. He is survived by his brother Mike Kroner, sister-in-law Donna Poole and nieces Erynn, Eden and Ember, all of Durwood, Maryland.

At a future date to be announced, his ashes will be interred at Zion Episcopal Church in Charles Town, followed by, as Whipple’s last request, a fine Irish Wake at the Old Opera House.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Old Opera Houe, 204 N. George Street, Charles Town, WV 25414.