The Norman Transcript

November 15, 2012

Leo Howard Whinery Sr.

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Leo Howard Whinery Sr., professor emeritus of law at the University of Oklahoma, passed away of natural causes Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in Norman.

He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and uncle who lived a wonderful, fulfilling and diversified life that spanned eight decades, giving much to others in intellect as well as inspiration.

His love of life and desire to be challenged by new adventures made him a man to be admired by colleagues, but mostly by his family.

His interests ranged from playing the violin in a symphony to East Prussian riding horses. A celebration of his life will be 2 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church in Norman, 211 W. Comanche St.

Leo was born Sept. 20, 1926, in Kansas City, Kan., the son of William D. Whinery Sr. and Ara Dee Whinery. He graduated from Central High School in Kansas City, Mo., and was an Eagle Scout. He served in the Army Air Corps from 1945 to 1946. He married Doris Eileene Dean in 1955.

Leo received BA and LLB degrees from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and later an LLM from Columbia University. He was admitted to the practice of law in Missouri and Oklahoma, in the U.S. District Court for western Oklahoma, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and before the United States Supreme Court. He was a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, the Missouri Bar Association, the Oklahoma Trial Lawyers Association, the American Law Institute and the American Bar Association.

He served as a faculty member at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks and at the University of Oklahoma, where he taught from 1959 to 2003, when he retired. He was a faculty member of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nev., from 1973 to present.

He was widely published and was a frequent lecturer, mostly in the field of sentencing and evidence, and served on many faculty, state and national legal committees.

He served as a judge with the Norman Municipal Court from 1960 to 1978 and was presiding judge from 1970 to 1978.

A skilled equestrian, he was active in the breeding of Trakehner horses at the couple’s Cedar Crest Farm in southeast Norman. He served as founding president and chair of the board for the American Trakehner Association, which promoted the East Prussian riding horses in North America.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, William D. Whinery, Jr.

Survivors include his wife, Doris of the Norman home; sons Leo H. Whinery Jr. of Norman, Dr. Michael Albert Whinery of Claremore and Webster Palmer Whinery Sr. of Los Angeles; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild; a nephew and a niece.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the University of Oklahoma College of Law Scholarship fund in memory of Leo Howard Whinery, 300 Timberdell Road, Norman, OK 73019.

Services are under the direction of Havenbrook Funeral Home in Norman.

Online memories may be shared at

Norman Transcript, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.