1953 - 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.