Within the space of eight days, two valued members of our organization departed this life unexpectedly.  We will greatly miss Tim Whitman and Joyce Benge.  We send our sincere condolences to the families of both of these fine people.  (More details follow.)


TIMOTHY EUGENE WHITMAN, 50, was born October 8, 1964 and departed this life unexpectedly on January 27, 2015.  An Oklahoma State University graduate, he earned a B.S. in Aviation Management and an M.S. in Aviation Science. Tim had recently served as the General Aviation Manager for the City of Oklahoma City with management responsibilities for Wiley Post and Clarence E. Page Airports.  Tim always had a deep passion for aviation and airports serving in leadership roles for The American Association of Airport Executives and at airports in Texas, Georgia and Florida before returning to his home state of Oklahoma.  Tim delighted in spending time with Heather, his wife of 25 years and their young son Dylan.  He was a caring, compassionate person and a lover of dogs. He enjoyed trips to the beach  and even an occasional cigar and rum and coke. He was an intense NASCAR fan, naming Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt as his favorite drivers.  As a result of a motorcycle accident in the 1980’s, Tim lived his life with daily pain.  While our hearts break for his family and friends at his passing, we are happy that he is finally at peace with his suffering.  His family and friends, including friends and representatives from OAOA, gathered Saturday, January 31 to bid him farewell.  Tim will be missed by many who got the chance to know him and work with him.

JOYCE ALLENE BENGE  We all dearly miss our friend, advocate, and colleague, Joyce Allene Benge who was born January 1, 1953 and passed away unexpectedly on February 3, 2015.  Joyce was employed by Barnard Dunkleburg & Company for many years and later by Mead & Hunt when they bought out Barnard Dunkleburg.  Joyce was a special person who always greeted members and friends with a sweet smile and one of her special hugs.  Always ready to help, she volunteered with a number of charities in the Tulsa area.  She had been very active with OAOA for many years and received several awards for her dedicated service to OAOA, including the Pioneer Award in 2011.  As a licensed bar tender for 38 years, she delighted in presiding over the OAOA Conference Hospitality Suite.  Even though we thought she worked longer days than she should, she insisted on being at the registration table at the OAOA Conference so she could be sure to visit with - and hug - everyone as they arrived.  Joyce’s OAOA family joined her daughters Tammi Sawyer and husband, James, and Shannon Jones and her husband, Charles, three granddaughters and a host of friends in Tulsa on February 10 to celebrate her life.   She closed so many of her phone calls and emails with "Love You Bunches....!!"   Joyce, we miss you and we "love YOU bunches!”