Murdered Business Owner Honored
WARRENSBURG, Mo. — Warrensburg honored the hard work and effort of a young bar owner, murdered outside his home. Blaine Whitworth was just 25 years old when he was shot and killed. He owned two Warrensburg bars and was also very involved in downtown Warrensburg. In his honor, the street that he worked so hard on will forever bear his memory and name.
Called a champion in the community and a leader in the renovation of the heart of Warrensburg, Blaine Whitworth left quite a legacy.
“He was always working on a project but he always had time to stop and take time for other people,” said Julie Turnipseed, the executive Director of Warrensburg Mainstreet.
Whitworth sat on two committees dedicated to this summer’s rehab of Pine Street, also the location of Bodies’s, one of Whitworth’s bars.
“After the untimely death of Blaine we didn’t feel like we were ready to celebrate,” said Turnipseed.
A ribbon cutting celebration featuring new street lights, trees and brick pavers was scheduled for Thursday. After Whitworth’s murder, the celebration was postponed and a major decision was made.
“These will be some special bricks,” Turnipseed said.
The newly laid bricks in front of Bodie’s bar will be torn out and replaced with bricks bearing the insignia BW with a ribbon and the name of the person who bought it.
A tribute to the young man and the void he’s left behind.
“When you look down and you see those bricks and you see his name on it, the insignia, it is going to mean a lot to us,” said Turnipseed.
The permanent memorial is in the works but Whitworth’s mark on Pine Street can already be seen. The window of Inks & Images, a local screen printing store, proudly displays the initials BW. Inside the shop, shirts and bracelets with Whitworth’s “Go Big or Go Home” saying are being sold.
“Not that we really need these to remember him everyday because we do. Because we don’t see him walk by or we don’t see him stick his head in. Or the tremendous void he’s left in our downtown. So as time goes on it will continue to remind us,” Turnipseed said.
You can buy the shirts and bracelets at Inks & Images on 108 West Pine Street. The shirts require a $15 donation to the Blaine Whitworth Scholarship Fund and the cost of the shirt is just $5. The bracelets require a $5.50 donation and the cost of the bracelet is just $2.
The scholarship fund will be distributed to a student(s) at the University of Central Missouri who wouldn’t otherwise be able to further their education. The celebration and ribbon cutting of the newly renovated Pine Street is rescheduled for September 25.