Charles W. Whims Sr., 81, horse trainer, owner

August 05, 2004

Charles William Whims Sr., a retired thoroughbred horse trainer and owner, died of complications from cancer July 29 at his daughter's North Baltimore home. He was 81.

A resident of the Phoenix area of Baltimore County, he was born in nearby Sweet Air and was a graduate of the former George Washington Carver School in Towson. He served in the Army as a mail transportation clerk in the Pacific during World War II.

According to a 1981 profile in Maryland Horse magazine, Mr. Whims worked for many years as an assistant to Billy Myers and Babe Saportas, well-known Maryland trainers. He drove their vans to racetracks and saddled horses.

He worked the old half-mile track circuit at Bel Air, Hagerstown, Marlboro, Shenandoah Downs, Timonium and Charles Town.

He later received his trainer's license and owned several horses, including Mighty Maryland, Ben Gunn, Captain Lightfoot and Reason with Amy. He also worked for owners of horses competing in spring steeplechase events in Baltimore County before retiring about 12 years ago.

His wife of 54 years, the former Vyonne Eileen McKay, died last month.

Services were held Tuesday at Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Long Green.

Survivors include five sons, Charles W. Whims Jr. of Phoenix, Leslie Whims of Woodlawn and George N. Whims, Phillip Whims and Andre Whims, all of Baltimore; a daughter, Phyllis W. Jones of Baltimore; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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