Edgar D. Whitcomb


Edgar D. Whitcomb, 98, former governor of Indiana, passed away Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, at his home in Rome, surrounded by his family.

Born Nov. 6, 1917, in Hayden, he was the son of John and Louise Doud Whitcomb, both of whom preceded him in death.

Ed was a 1935 graduate of Hayden High School and graduated from Indiana University, where he studied law and played trumpet in the Marching Hundred. He was a colonel in the United States Army Air Force and served during World War II, when he was held captive by the Japanese. He recounted his wartime years in his first book, “Escape From Corregidor.”

He served in the Indiana State Senate as secretary of state, then as Indiana’s 43rd governor from 1969 to 1973.

After retiring from law and public life, Ed embarked on a solo sailing journey circumnavigating the world. After 10 years of travel, he came back to his home in southern Indiana, where he remained the rest of his life.

Through all of his heroic actions in the war and his years of public service, his family’s cherished memories are of a kind, loving father and grandfather who always treated them fairly and loved to be with little children.

He was a member of Hayden United Methodist Church and the Columbia Club in Indianapolis. Ed was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts in Seymour.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Evelyn Whitcomb; daughters, Patricia “Trish” (Russ) Sipes of Indianapolis and Ann (John) Guggenheim, of Indianapolis, Shelley Whitcomb, of Seymour, and Alice Carfagno of Los Angeles; son, John (Terri) Whitcomb of Nashville; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sister, Sally Lieurance, of Williamsburg, Virginia; and a brother, Charles Whitcomb, of Miami.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Laura Showalter.

A celebration of Ed’s life will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at Huber Funeral Home, Tell City Chapel, with visitation from 2 to 6 p.m. The Rev Paul Alvey and the Rev. Ann Skiba will officiate.

There also will be a funeral service at 2 p.m. Sunday at Hayden United Methodist Church with Tom Judd officiating, with visitation from noon until time of service Sunday. 

Memorials may be made to Perry County Community Foundation, Ed and Evelyn Whitcomb Scholarship Fund or to the Hayden Historical Society.

Messages of condolence may be shared with the family at huberfuneralhome.net.