Oct. 24, 1992 Idaho Falls Bonneville County Idaho, USA
Pat was the son of Elmer O'Brien and Rosa Mae Loy Whittington and grew up on a farm in Claremont, Minnesota. His parents named him Glenn, but his uncle Ben said he looked looked Irish because of his red hair and called him "Pat" instead. The nickname stuck and only his mother continued to call him Glenn.
He ran away from home at the age of 16 and crossed the country "riding the rails" on freight trains. He later set out with some friends in a Model T Ford for San Francisco, Cal., where he found work at the Rosie Rice Mill. He also worked for PG&E and attended the Samuel Gompers free schools of welding and painting where he learned both trades. He moved every month when the rent came due. He learned to fly an airplane and at the age of 19 bought a WWI surplus Curtiss "Jenny" biplane.
On one of his trips home to visit his parents, he crashed his plane on a ridge, near the small town of Nephi, Utah. A farmer who lived in a nearby house said he looked out the window and saw an airplane hit the ground and flip over upside down. Unable to afford to repair it, he stored the plane in a barn and got a job as a mechanic at the Ford garage on Main Street. The teenage boys in town would sneak into the barn and climb up and sit in the cockpit and dream of flying.
While working at the Ford garage, Pat met my mother, who was a waitress at the Venice Cafe across the street. In 1937 they eloped in in Flagstaff, Arizona and had seven children.
He later crashed another plane, while the whole town watched, and Mother made him give up flying for good. In the 1940's he established Nephi Motors, a dealership that sold both Pontiac automobiles and John Deere farm equipment.
Between 1952-1959 they owned and operated the Pine Crest Lodge in West Yellowstone, Montana.
In 1954, the family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and in 1959 to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he opened his own business, A-1 Automatic Transmission Co.
Despite having only a 10th grade education, like his father, he also held a U.S. Patent: http://www.google.com/patents?id=PcB8AAAAEBAJ&dq=Whittington