First Responders 08

Douglas L. Whitson

April 19, 1952 ~ November 29, 2021 (age 69)


Douglas Lynn Whitson made his final gesture on November 29, 2021.  Signing off on life, in his own words “Well off with no regrets.”  

Doug was born April 19, 1952 in Independence Kansas to the late Clarence, and Faye Whitson.  Shortly after his birth the family moved to Nickerson Kansas.  He was the middle of three sons, the eldest Eldon and then Rick.  Being the middle child he had the privilege of playing many obnoxious pranks on Rick.  He was very much up to this challenge and excelled in it greatly.  But then he would get what he dished out when Rick would go to Eldon.  Even though the boys picked on each other, it was not ok for others to do so.  Because Rick was smaller Doug would often protect him.  So much so in fact that his parents told him that Rick needed to learn to fend for himself and told Doug that he couldn’t fight all of his battles for him.  The three of them were a handful for Faye without a doubt.  Like the time the boys were playing out on the farm in Independence.  She hadn’t heard from the three in sometime, so she went to investigate.  She wasn’t surprised to find them in the barn with pump grease in each other’s hair as if it were shampoo.

Doug was always mischievous and up to something.  Doug’s Mom often told the story about Doug and his friend bringing home baby skunks.   Doug was so proud of them!  His Mom was not thrilled with his new pets, so she made him take them back where he found them.  When Doug returned home, he had to take tomato baths and sleep in the garage for quite a while because he didn’t smell so good and Faye didn’t want him stinking up the house.  When Doug and Eldon got their first car Eldon was very proud of their car.  In typical wild and crazy Doug fashion it didn’t take long for Doug to total it.  Eldon who was normally very calm expressed his frustrations with Doug when he beat him up after finding out that he totaled their car.

After finishing school in Nickerson Doug and his brother Rick moved to Goodland.  There they attended NWKAVTS in diesel mechanics and continued their obnoxious shenanigans.  He soon after married Ardith Kramer in 1972 who was finally be able to tame him.  They gave birth to Jason and Jenny Whitson, the former would prove to be an obnoxious handful like his father.  This gave much pleasure to Clarence as he saw it as paybacks.  Doug worked for Davis implements as a diesel mechanic, proving to Clarence he did actually learn something in school.  Shortly afterward he went to work for his father-in-law Lowell Kramer at Ford Dealership as a car salesman.  This work was far too boring for Doug who was just not cut out for pencil pushing.  He would spend his evenings after coming home from the garage volunteering for the sheriff’s office reserve force in 1984.  Eventually a full-time opening came up at the Goodland PD and Doug was off to the academy in Hutchinson Kansas a 20 minute drive from where he grew up.  During his time at the academy, he would stay with his parents in Nickerson.  There was a lot of shock and disbelief going around Nickerson the day Doug showed up in a police uniform and patrol car.  After working for the police department for around a year Doug went back to the Sheriff’s office as a full-time deputy.  Family often joked that Doug made a good officer because of all of the shenanigans he participated in when he was growing up.  He knew what mischief was coming next because he had already been there and done it himself.

Doug was married to Pam (Cecil) Linden on March 12, 1988, in Goodland Kansas.  Doug also became the Under-Sheriff in 1988, and later became Sheriff when Jack Armstrong retired.  He retired from the Sheriff’s office in 2005 and wasn’t ready to be fully retired just yet.  He worked for the Goodland Police Department again from 2006 to 2011 and then finally retired for good from the Goodland Police Department.   Even with this retirement he wasn’t ready to be full finished with law enforcement.  He continued to be a part-time deputy with the Sheriff’s office until his death.  

During his law enforcement career, he did many things such as doing undercover drug buys, interviews, cleaning up meth labs, abuse cases, and his favorite investigations.  His love for investigations shifted in his retirement to finding out the history of Western Kansas.  He was an active member of the Smokey Hill Trail Association, & Guardian of Fort Wallace Museum.  He also assisted with the Kansas Anthropological Association.  As many will recognize the silly hat he was so proud of.   The number 7 was actually an artifact that he found while metal detecting at Big Timber Station.  The 7 is a pin from a soldiers 7th cavalry hat.

Doug was always available for late night phone calls or visits to help people through whatever they were going through.  He also believed in tough love and wasn’t afraid to threated you with a boot in the you know where.  He will be greatly missed by family and friends.  

Doug is survived by his wife, Pam and Fur Children of Goodland KS; daughter, Jenny (Jason) Cech and Fur Child Lady of Salina KS; son, Jason Whitson of Greely CO; brother-in-law, Mike Cecil of Goodland KS; nieces, Jill Cofer of Hutchinson KS, Connie Whitson Bennet of Nebraska and Natashia Cecil (Elliot Binder) of Hays, KS; nephew, Cody Whitson (Meghan Peterson) and Son Levi Whitson of Lincoln, NE.   

He is preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Faye Whitson; and brothers, Eldon and Rick Whitson.

Memorials may be designated to Doug Whitson Memorial Fund and may be sent in care of Bateman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 278, Goodland, KS 67735.  For information and online condolences visit:

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