MARYSVILLE — Arthur Whetstone lived his life in service to others, always looking for more opportunities to help other people in any way that he could. If he helped two people one day, he lamented not being able to help a third, said his wife of 22 years, Faith Whetstone.
Such was the case Saturday evening when the first significant snowfall of the year started.
Arthur Whetstone, who was 69, wanted to make sure the parking lot of his church, The Lake Church in Lake Stevens, would be clear. So he went to Home Depot to buy rock salt to take over there that night.
“He said, ‘I’m off to the church because I have energy tonight,’” Faith Whetstone said.
On Highway 9, Whetstone’s Toyota pickup lost traction on the icy road and slid sideways into the northbound lane, where it was struck by another vehicle. Whetstone died at the scene.
Faith Whetstone didn’t worry when he didn’t return quickly, figuring Arlie, as she called him, had found something else to help out with.
“A lot of times he’d get over there and he’d start fixing plumbing or fixing cabinets,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh, he’s having a happy time working over there.’”
Arthur Lewis Whetstone was born June 2, 1944 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and spent his youth there and in Arizona and California.
He played trumpet and often toured with musical groups in the U.S., Europe and Israel, where he once performed for prime minister David Ben Gurion.
He was gifted with his hands and worked until last January as a senior maintenance mechanic at Fluke Manufacturing in Everett.
He was never satisfied with just doing a job. He always tried to make things better.
“If you needed a Volkswagen built, he’d build a Cadillac,” said Kurt Welborn, Whetstone’s group lead at Fluke.
“If he could see it in his head, he could build it,” Welborn said.
He was also strong in his religious faith. He and Faith spent several summers traveling to India where they worked with a children’s home in Kottarakkara, in the state of Kerala.
“My husband’s passion before he died was doing as much for the children of India as he could,” she said.
Even when he retired, it was for selfless reasons.
“He was running out of strength and energy,” she said. “He had to quit or he wasn’t able to help other people.
“He had the heart of a father and he fathered everybody, and he still took the most incredible care of me and the kids,” she said.
In addition to his wife, Faith, Arthur Whetstone is survived by daughter Bethany Rohde and her husband, Jason, and their children, Jack and Claire, all of Arlington; son David Whetstone and his wife, Kari, of Phoenix; and son Mark Thomas and his wife, Ariel, of Renton. He is also survived by his brother, Vernon Whetstone, of Beit Shemesh, Israel.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Hope Foursquare Church, located at 5002 Bickford Ave., Snohomish.
Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; firstname.lastname@example.org.