City of Joaquin dedicates highway in honor of Army veteran

Published: Sep. 2, 2023 at 12:08 PM CDT
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JOAQUIN, Texas (KTRE) - The City of Joaquin held a dedication ceremony on Highway 84 in remembrance of the late Lt. Gen. O.R. ‘Cotton’ Whiddon.

This is located between the Sabine river bridge and Crystal lake.

Jessie Griffith, Joaquin mayor said, “Lieutenant General Whiddon proved that with hard work and dedication you can begin a journey in a small town like Joaquin and follow the roads to carry you all over the world.”

Lt. General O.R. a.k.a ‘Cotton’ Whiddon was a Joaquin native who served in the US army for 35 years.

He passed away in 2016 in the care of a local hospice facility.

Barbara Whiddon Shortell, Lt. General Whiddon’s daughter said, “my father was a proud graduate of SFA. He was drafted for Korea and is the highest-ranking Army officer to come out the state of Texas that did not go to West Point or ROTC.”

She also expressed her happiness for the dedication.

“The family has proud Texans, and we’re very very proud for this honor,” she said.

Robert Nichols, State senator for state district 3 said this honor was well deserved. “After travelling and working all over the world, basically he chose to come back to east Texas to live and retire and continued to serve his community,” said Nichols.

Demtress Harrell, Chief Executive Director for Hospice in the Pines also expressed the impact Whiddon had on people within the community.

“He was not only a man of humor, he was a man of friendship. He dedicated his life to service and even going out, above beyond to do things in our community - a volunteer,” said Harrell.

Lt. General Whiddon’s wife, Harriot Whiddon said, “he was super special. Truly, truly.”

The governor issued a certificate memorializing this day for the Whiddon family.

The City of Joaquin also announced September 1, will be dedicated as General Orren Whiddon Day.