Dennis Ray Whetstone (68)

Carmi, Illinois
Birth: December 27, 1953
Death: November 24, 2022

Dennis Ray Whetstone, 68, of Carmi, Illinois, died Thursday, November 24, 2022, at Hamilton Memorial Hospital in McLeansboro, Illinois. He was born December 27, 1953, in Carmi, the son of Carl Ray Whetstone and Frances (Whitsitt) Whetstone.

Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s Dennis held several positions with the State of Illinois, Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA). He was Manager of the Job Training Programs Division where he oversaw the administration of the Federal Job Training Partnership Act Program, the Displaced Homemakers Program, and the Industrial Training Program. He went on to serve as the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Program Administration where he oversaw many programs that ranged from business financing, local government assistance and job training as well as other services targeted to Illinois citizens.

In the early 1980’s, Dennis was with the State delegation that traveled to Japan for negotiations with Mitsubishi Motors and other Japanese companies, to successfully bring the Diamond Star Motors Company to Normal, IL. He was also instrumental in keeping companies such as Motorola and Caterpillar in Illinois.

In late 1980’s Dennis was appointed as the Executive Deputy Director, 2nd in command, of DCCA where he was dedicated to the betterment of economic development in the State. In 1994 he joined Governor Jim Edgar’s staff to develop and implement workforce preparation and job training programs. The following year he returned to DCCA to serve as Director before leaving to take the position of President and CEO of The Illinois State Chamber of Commerce. During his time in State government Dennis was appointed to and served on many task forces, boards, and commissions.

Throughout his career he supervised and mentored 100’s of employees, touching each one in a positive way.

Survivors include his mother, Frances Whetstone of Carmi; son, Cooper Whetstone of Minnesota; daughter, Callie Whetstone of Florida; brothers, Dale Whetstone of Carmi, Kerry “K.C.” (Christine) Whetstone of Round Rock, Texas; nieces and nephews Blair Whetstone, Emily Whetstone, Colt Whetstone, Spencer (Matthew) Taylor, and Stetson (Katy) Whetstone.

He is preceded in death by his father, Carl Ray Whetstone.

In keeping with Dennis’ wishes, he was a tissue donor and his remains were cremated. No services are planned at this time.

Cook Funeral Chapel in Carmi, Illinois, is assisting his family.

Visitation: No Visitation
Service: No Service
Memorials: Cook Funeral Chapel, 101 Edgewood Lane, Carmi, Illinois 62821 or use Go Fund Me for Dennis Ray Whetstone Memorial & Cremation Services

20 thoughts on “Dennis Ray Whetstone”

  1. May warm memories always bloom in your hearts!
    So saddened how young❣️

    We were nearby neighbors with the Whetstones during 1960 through the early 70’s. Dale and I were in the same class! A lot of fond memories over the years in such a great neighborhood to grow up with the Whetstone brothers around!

    It does not surprise me how accomplished Dennis was in his varied roles throughout his life. He was not only quite charming, but I just knew Dennis would do amazing things. What a fabulous service to the State of Illinois! I can only imagine the many lives that he touched and I have to say there is something about growing up in Carmi that brings another charming difference…being down to earth and caring as Dennis certainly personified!

    Our family extends our warmest regards❣️
    Renee, my Mother, Jettie and Sister, Patty Ahlf

  2. I knew Dennis back in the 90’s and he was my brother, Jerry’s best friend. Such a bright star. Peace to his family.

  3. I worked with Dennis at DCCA. He was a great person to work with. It was always a pleasure talking with him. I’m saddened to learn of his passing.

  4. Breaks my heart for his family! Dennis was always such a nice guy. Our love, thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

    1. I worked at the facility he was at. He was very nice et charming. So sorry for your loss. Hugs et prayers. He was a pleasure et his family was also.

  5. Thomas R Henderson

    A talented, well liked individual that I had the honor of knowing and working with at DCCA. So sorry to hear of his passing.

  6. Dennis will always be my one true love…in this life and the next. I will cherish our two beautiful children together forever.

  7. I will always remember the warmth and sunshine in Dennis’ smile matched by his affable nature, the blessing of bestowed grace and a fine intellect. My heart goes out to you, Frances, and all family members and Dennis’ close friends.

  8. Sending deepest sympathy to sweet Frances, Dale, Kerry and the rest of the family. Dennis was a great man who accomplished so much and was a friend to all.

  9. Sending my deepest sympathy. I worked with and for Dennis for many years at DCCA. He was a smart, talented and charismatic beautiful person.I have so many fond memories of Dennis. He was truly a Special Guy who I will always remember.
    Jean Thomas

  10. This hit me hard when I found out Dennis had passed. When it sunk in, I realized that meeting and connecting with him at DCCA totally changed my career and if that didn’t happen, my life would have been totally different. The guy impacted people. My condolences to his family and although I am very sad, I am in a way happy that he can finally rest in peace.

  11. I was saddened to find out i
    of Dennis’ passing.my mother, Katherine Pettit, loved him like a son and such great memories of the party she gave for him and Dina for their wedding! Mom passed on her birthday, 9-1-2014 peacefully. I hope Dennis and Mom reunite in heaven and have a grand old time! Love to all the Whetstone family! Dennis is one beautiful soul!
    Patti Joyner (Katherine’s daughter)

  12. Dennis whetstone, Smart, always personable, and would light up the room when he walked in.
    Many good memories of the “DCCA days” with Dennis and other friends who often attended Illinois Employment and Training Association (IETA) conferences across the job training community in Illinois. Condolences to the entire Whetstone family. May you, like me, remember and savor the good times with this wonderful guy. RIP my friend. Jim

  13. Lisa Sanders Claton

    So sorry Cooper and Callie! I knew your dad through babysitting you 2 when you were little. He was so kind to me and was a great man!!

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