Guy Carleton Whidden, II, 99, of Braddock Heights, Maryland, passed from this life on Monday, September 19th, 2022.
Born on June 18th, 1923 in Wyncote, Pennsylvania, he was the son of the late Rendol Whidden and Myrtle Whidden. Shortly before graduating high school, at the age of 17, World War II began and Guy enlisted in the 28th division of the Pennsylvania National Guard as a combat engineer briefly before his father got him discharged based on age minority in order to enable him to complete high school. After high school, he chose to enlist to fight in the war and was eventually assigned to the 502 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. He ended up going to Great Britain and then into Normandy where his assigned plane was reputed to be the third plane in at around 1 A.M. on D-Day, June 6th, 1944. Guy’s next combat jump was into the Netherlands around noon on September 17th,1944. At one point, when enemy forces surrounded his unit, Guy’s squad was hit by a mortar and sadly, he was the only one to survive. His leg was severely injured from the blast and he was returned to the states for further hospitalization. After several months of rehabilitation, he was assigned to Fort Benning's Airborne School as an instructor. Although holding the rank of Sergeant upon discharge, they mistakenly discharged him as a private. Guy always had a strong belief in divine intervention with many experiences to justify these feelings, and he believes this is how he was able to live such a long and wonderful life.
After graduating from college with two Master’s degrees, he taught school, became a guidance counselor, and coached sports for many years. Still having patriotic feelings at 60, Guy volunteered to serve with the Maryland Defense Force, which is a volunteer branch of the 29th Division of The Maryland National Guard where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. Guy was never officially retired from this service and was twice awarded Maryland's second highest award, the prestigious "Meritorious Service Award" for valor.
In recent years, Guy wrote a book entitled "Between The Lines And Beyond", which is a compilation of stories and letters written home about his experiences during the war. He had a lifelong passion for collecting rare coins and also for going on adventures in the wilds of Maine, which he would annually do either solo or with his family. Guy continued to keep in top physical and mental condition by swimming and walking daily and playing Bridge into his mid-90’s. He also visited area schools and organizations to educate and answer questions on his wartime experiences on a regular basis.
Guy is survived by his two sons, Guy Carleton Whidden, III and wife Susan Louise Whidden and Keith Bradley Whidden and wife Jordan Elizabeth Whidden, three granddaughters, Marissa Brooke Whidden, Elise Claire Whidden, and Lydia Louise Senecal and her husband Jason Paul Senecal, two grandsons, Joseph McGraw Little and Jasper Reece Little, and one great-grandaughter, Celia Louise Senecal.
In addition to his parents, Guy was preceded in death by his loving wife Julia Ann Whidden, brother Rendol Whidden, and sister Martha Albaugh.
In lieu of a graveside service and interment, Guy has elected to have a Celebration of Life in the coming months, with a date to be announced in the near future.