Bill Whipkey, age 80, of Baxter Springs, Kan., passed away on March 16, 2012.

Bill was born in Fairland, Okla., and raised in Picher, Okla., one of four siblings. After high school he attended NEO A&M College on a boxing scholarship, where he met his wife, Carolyn, whom he married in 1950.

After college, he served in the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1956. At the age of 29, he won the AAU light heavyweight championship.

Bill was the director of the then Boys Club of Joplin for 16 years, before moving to Grove, Okla., where he built the Honey Creek Shopping Center, and ran the Whipkey IGA.

In the late 1980ís, Bill and his family moved to Baxter Springs, where he resided until his death, spending 10 of those years raising his two grandsons.

Bill is survived by his wife, Carolyn; and two children, Dedra and Scott Whipkey. In addition, he is also fondly remembered by two grandchildren, Tyler and Trevor Whipkey; three step-grandchildren; two great-granddaughters; and one step-granddaughter.

Services will be held at South Joplin Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on Tuesday, March 20, at 2 p.m. Services have been entrusted to Nichols Funeral Home of Grove.