J.W. and Martha Whipple Scholarship Fund
No Distance Too Far For Family
Commonly a family fund is handed down from parents to children. This is an uncommon tale of a family giving the gift of philanthropy to a man who was not their biological brother, but rather a brother of their hearts. In 2011 at a family member’s rehearsal dinner, the Miller Family presented J.W. and Martha Whipple with a scholarship fund to advise at CFCG. “I just cried and cried, said Martha “I knew that we loved them and they loved us, I just didn’t realize how much.” J.W. and Martha award a scholarship from the fund each year to a graduate of Wilkinson County High School. They make their selection by reading applicants’ essays and reviewing their grade point average.
When J.W. Whipple was 12 years, his mother died. He had been doing yard work for Mr. Miller’s mother in Gordon before he moved to Irwinton. “When I moved to Irwinton, I was living here and there and the Millers took me under their wing,” says J.W. “Mrs. Carolyn started calling me their oldest son, so I became the oldest of five boys, even though I was black and they were white,” he chuckled. J.W. then worked in the Millers’ poultry business, first caring for the hens and later driving a delivery truck. Even after J.W.’s career path took him to Englehard Kaolin, where he worked his way up to the position of relief foreman, he remained a part of the Miller family. J.W. and Martha are always invited to and look forward to attending every Miller family function.
Years ago Mr. Miller told the Whipples that it was never too late at night to call if they needed anything at all. Today, J.W echoes that sentiment in talking about his Miller brothers. “If they called right now, I’d have to go. No distance too far.” And now the scholarship fund allows the Whipples to make a difference in the lives of other young people.