LaDon Whitesell, 39, interior decorator, died saving Sharon M. Holtmeier, 11, from drowning, Castlewood, Missouri, July 5, 1965. Sharon, a poor swimmer, got into difficulty in water 10 feet deep feet from the bank of the Meramec River and called for help. Whitesell, who was fishing from the bank farther upstream kicked off his shoes and entered the water. He swam 75 feet to Sharon, approaching her from behind and urging her to be calm. Moving Sharon ahead of him with intermittent pushes, Whitesell swam 25 feet toward the bank. He then stopped swimming and said weakly that he could not make it. After giving Sharon a hard push, he sank. Whitesell’s push moved Sharon six feet farther toward the bank, from where her brother and another youth aided her the rest of the way. Whitesell rose briefly to the surface. Sharon’s father waded into the water and, as Whitesell returned to the surface, threw a six-foot fishing pole to him. Holding the pole, Whitesell sank again. The pole floated to the surface, but Whitesell did not reappear. His body later was recovered.
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