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Memories of Jake growing up in Hawaii
SABRINA HUYETT (COUSIN)
MAILE PULA (ADOPTED SISTER)
During my high school years I spent more time at the Whetten's home than my own, so Jake was like a little brother to me. My daughters even call him, "Uncle Jakey." I remember the first time I met Jake, when he was only seven, I was amazed at how tall and thin he was. I can picture him in the family Subaru station wagon squished in the space between the 2 front seats, facing the back seats and hugging his long legs because there wasn’t space for everyone. If my memory serves me right, when Jake was about 9 years old, the Whettens had just gotten a brand new car, and Jake's soccer team was named after the car, the "Blue Blazers." I remember during storms Jake playing in the rain with all the townhouse kids, riding boogy boards in the field and playing football. I still have a pendant that Jake gave me for Christmas one year, a clear plastic heart with a mustard seed in it that he had bought from the BYU-H Bookstore. About a month and a half ago I discovered that my tile shower needed to be replaced, water was leaking through the tiles and into the bedroom. I knew Jake had some experience from working with Todd, but I didn't want to pressure him into helping me with my shower. I asked Jana to ask Jake if he'd be interested in helping, just in case he didn't want to do it, maybe it'd be easier to say no to Jana than to me. Anyway, soon after Jake got to
Growing up with Jake in elementary school, he was always the tallest kid in our grade. As a 5 year old, I remember thinking he was a lot like Abraham Lincoln the way he towered over all the other kids.
Jake was also a funny guy and he had a good sense of humor. In high school, I had the opportunity to be in the same "We The People" class as him. At the National Championships in Washington DC we did a lot of sightseeing. One time I asked Jake to take a picture with my camera. Right before he took it, he turned the camera around and took a picture of himself! I should've learned from that, but by the end of the trip I had 3 solo shots of him.
I also remember Jake for being a great example in the church. He was always actively involved, chose good friends, and was always serving others.
We love you, miss you, and will always remember you, Jake.
This is a memory that I (Daniel Colton) Have of Jake.
The first time I really met Jake he was about 2 minutes late for the first day of Seminary. Me being the new kid the last open seat in the class room was next to me. So he landed himself next to me, and thus it began. He introduced me to his friends who "hung out" at the "A" building at Kahuku. He was quick to befriend me and make me feel welcome. Not only did we know eachother through seminary but he was a great friend to me in the Ward and scouting activities. We (as a troop) would hike up to Boogalustu (please edit my spelling on that one) and have a fun time trying to "smother" the fire with arm loads of dried pine needles. Much to our pleasure we had a half hour shot of raging smoke to horseplay with. It was another fun time that Jake and Mike Brewer came to my house (perhaps their first time to visit) and we decided to "borrow" mom's camera and take pictures of ourselves. Keyword: Mint tiny. If you don't know thats ok. Of course mom was surprised to develope the pictures and find her son and friends doing all sorts of things around the house.
Jake was a great friend. I sadly lost contact with him sortly after highschool, but his passing still tells me that we are here for a reason.
Thank you Jake, for all the Aloha :)
i am sorry to hear of jakes passing. he is a great person, friend and example of positive people. i am a bit older then jake but because we shared the same name we had this connection. we kicked it occasionaly but i swear atleast a million times in the halls of kahuku we would pass each other and half laughing both say " wasup jake" as if we were talking to our own reflection.kinda silly, but cool. jake was never too busy or too good to say hi or stop and talk about life. we grew up in the town houses playing football fields with egg head and all the other old school kids. those were the days. jake use to be shorter then me back then and now he is twice my hight. i think though that threw the years not only did he grow taller physically but spiritualy and into a strong missionary and man. i love jake! ofa lahi atu. jacob epikopo kongaika
CEDRIC WHETTEN (SECOND COUSIN)
I last saw Jake when he was about 14 in '97. I was in Laie spending the night at your place and I recall going down to Kanehoe with Jake and his Dad to the mall to purchase a model airplane for Jake.
Most of my memories of Jake are from '90, I guess he would have been around 7 years old. He was a happy and fun little kid running around the open space near the Temple with his friends and playing at the beach. As guiless a person as I have ever met-- I couldn't help but feel refreshed with his innocence and sweet childhood laughter.
All my best, Cedric Whetten
SPENCER WINSTEAD (CHILDHOOD FRIEND)
My memories of Jake go far back to elementary school up to his return from his mission.
These are just a couple of them.I remember the first time I slept over at the Whetten’s. house, I walked into Jake’s room and saw three mattresses. Two beds and one mattress in between the two beds. I asked Jake what the third mattress on the floor was for he, responded with “I fall off my bed and don’t wake up so I put that mattress there so I’m not sleeping on the floor.” I still smile about that one.
Sophomore and Junior year of high school, Myself, “little” John Phillips, and Jake Whetten tried to copy our friends and their brothers and start a band. So off we set with no experience or practicing After about 6 months of talking, we finally held our first practice in my garage. Originally I was on drums, Jake was playing guitar, and little John was playing bass and singing. After the first five mintues of utter confusion we all came to realize that each of us were playing the wrong instrument. So…..little John became the drummer, I became the guitar player and Jake on the bass. After the next ten minutes of us asking each other “do you know any songs?” or “play something!.” Another band revision came into effect. Little John now on guitar and Myself back to the drums. Well since the three of us combined couldn’t come up with a song on the spot, we enlisted the help of Ben Burroughs. So we wrote one song, we stole the chords from a blink-182 song, because we didn’t know how to write anything at that point. Instead of the blink-182 lyrics, we sang the theme song from the old cartoon Underdog and made our one and only song. It was played three or four times before we all lost interest in it, and realized we should learn our instruments before attempting a band. But Jake was always dedicated to learning the guitar, he would ask me advice on what was good or what to get. I remember when he got his first electric guitar he was so happy to have his Harmony strat (which Jake and I came to name later the “Rattler” because it rattled when you strummed it). We both would go to Mr. Springs Guitar Club during our lunch period and watch people play and try to remember how to play certain chords or songs. He would always be practicing or showing me something new he learned. He loved listening and playing music.
He was always a good friend, he was the driver/chaperone on my very first date. You know you could talk to him about anything and get a sane and rational perspective on things. Even if he didn’t agree with what I was saying, he could put that aside and try to help. He was someone you know you could trust, he was so pure hearted and genuine. He always had that contagious smile on his face. Jake was without question one of the best people that I have ever or will ever meet. That kind of true purity is rarely seen, he had it and I will miss it.
JENNY NEAL JENSEN (CHILDHOOD FRIEND)
My memories of Jake Whetten! September 20,2004
I wouldn't trade my memories of Jake for anything... Although our memories start many years ago, I still can remember them all, but will share the most memorable. Jake and I were neighbors for 10 years. He and I would play all day long, even before we were in preschool. I first met Jake when his mom used to drop him off for my mom to babysit. He would cry for her, so my mom would get out the Graham crackers. Then it was a reward to eat while sitting on the counter if Jake would stop crying. I did all I could to help him forget that his mom was going to be gone for a while. I shared my cabbage patch dolls and we started to play house. I remember days when my mom were gone I'd go over to Jakes house. His mom would sing songs and teach us the motions to things like, "Once there was a snowman!" We turned the little storage area of their house that is under the stairs into a play house. We would make army forts or mansions...
We had fun with two other neighbors, Lyman and Jamie. Our adventures took us all over the neighborhood. One afternoon Jake and I were partners in hide and seek. We hid so far into the bushes behind the temple that we were never found by Jamie and Lyman. We then just walked around the temple grounds and pretended that it was our house. We didn't realize then the sacredness of the grounds and would tease each other by pretending we were going to jump into the fountain that ran down the grounds of the temple. It wasn't too long before we both decided to JUMP in. We had so much fun. The fun soon ended with two men chasing us out. We ran down the back steps of the temple and there were Jamie and Lyman. They were frustrated they couldn't find us. We just smiled and went home to change. There were many trees in the back yard. Jake and I used to take the dead leaves from the ground and shaped a house by making a blueprint type of house with just the leaves lining up as the boundary for a wall (did that make sense..) Well, one tree was shaped like a thrown and of course I was the queen and Jake would be the King. We had our kingdom of the whole "back field".
Jake was always invited to my birthday parties. I remember he gave me barettes that I would wear everyday! It was the good ol' days!! When the back field would flood we'd take his boogie boards and pretend to surf the flood. His brother's would drag us around the water on the boogie boards too.
As we got older, Jake had his BOY friends and I hung out with Girls. Our neighborhood was pretty close since there were so many kids. After school one of the neighbor's dad's would come out and ref a football game for fun. Since I was so little compared to the older boys and girls, I usually didn't play, but one day Jake was walking toward the field and asked me to be on his team. I was so excited I wouldn't be standing on the sidelines just watching, which got old once in a while. I was running along, not really knowing what I was doing. I just followed Jake around figuring if he was running a certain way, than I should run that way. He caught the ball and I just cheered. I noticed he looked at me and threw it to me. I was wondering, What are you doing? I just wanted to run around. But I caught it and started running toward the goal line. I noticed people coming at me so he said RUN! I ran and "dodged" the boys coming after me. I knew they were letting me get the goal!! Anyway, it felt so good to help out my team. I ran over to Jake and gave him a high five.. that was still cool then!! haha!
In elementary school we didn't have many classes together... but one of my greatest memories was being in our GT class from 3rd grade to 6th grade... Mrs. Kinnecutt was so much fun! We would make fun films and recycling ads to put on the education channel. I remember how he was always so much taller than me that he'd always offer to help me get things off of the tall shelves. He was never mean to me even though those were the cooties days. One day our teacher planned for us to run from rain. We didn't understand what Mrs. Kinnecutt meant but we went and sat at temple beach and watched the heavy, dark clouds come toward us. Then, she yelled, RUN! We ran all the way to the classroom with the rain following at our ankles. It was the coolest experience. Jake and Corey Nielson were the first ones to the classroom to open it up for us. Jake and I were on the Student council together in sixth grade and talked a lot more often. We had fun at the meetings and planning all the activites. Jake helped me in the beautification for the Elementary school projects.
As we got older, Jake and I didn't talk much but I always remembered my first memories and my first friend in the Townhouses! In sixth grade, a bunch of us kids were helpers for the BYU Hawaii basketball team. We would have so much fun wiping the sweat off the floor. I'm not sure if he and I ever worked together on the same side but I know he was so helpful!
My very last memory of Jake was this past summer before he took off to Utah. I was up at the point playing basketball outside of the Johnson's house. I turned around and Jake was driving by. I waved but not sure if he recognized me. I just remembered that he smiled and waved back.
I am so glad that our family got to spend time with jake while growing up. I'm grateful for all the rest of the memories I will always have of Jake and to share with you.