JJ Whitacre’s Children

JJ’s older son, JB, graduated from Case School of Applied Science in 1914 with a degree in mechanical engineering. In World War I, JB served in France as a first lieutenant in ordnance. He served with skilled engineers, machinists and maintenance personnel and some of them returned with him to Whitacre-Greer after the war. He came home without much respect for the French, but respected the technical abilities of the Germans.

November 11 was his favorite holiday for the rest of his life.

JJ’s daughter, Kate, married Art Estep in 1915. Art attended Dartmouth Collage for three years, where he was a football player of note, receiving honorable mention on Walter Camp’s All-American team. In World War I, Art joined the Navy and was an ensign stationed in Key West, Florida. One of his duties was to search incoming German citizens. He reported the only excitement was a brief uproar from Washington the he ordered the search on a Mrs. Busch who was an heir to the Anheuser-Busch brewery fortune.

JJ’s younger son, DD, served only a few months in the Army in the U.S. before pease was declared. When World War II broke out, DD enlisted as a naval officer and served four years. He also graduated from Case School of Applied Science with a degree in electrical engineering. He was a gifted student as described to me by his classmate and longtime WG patent attorney Fred Bosworth. “In the evening, your uncle would come by as we did our calculus homework, look at the problem, write out the answers and go to a show while the rest of us spent hours trying to arrive at the same answers.”

JJ believed that all he could give his children that couldn’t be taken from them was an education. JB attended Harvard Business School for one year, then got married and did not complete the course. Kate went on and received a master’s degree from Western Reserve University and Art took engineering classes at Case School at this time. JB, DD and Art took positions with the Whitacre-Greer Fireproofing Company.

Pictured: (top to bottom) Art Estep, Donald Whitacre and John Whitacre Sr

Arthur Estep copy Donald Whitacre John Whitacre Sr copy