Wes Whitead is currently serving his sixth term in the Iowa House. He serves as Vice Chair on the Veterans Affairs Committees and also serves on the on Local Government, Natural Resources, Environmental Protection, Public Safety and Government Oversight Committees.
Wes Whitead was born April 15, 1933 in rural Plymouth County, Iowa. The son of Marion and Marguerite Whitead, Wes grew up on a small farm just north of Sioux City. He attended a one-room rural school through the sixth grade, then attended Sioux City public schools.
He entered the military in 1953, serving in an engineer aviation battalion in Korea. Wes and his unit built airfields for American fighters and bombers, including the first concrete airfield in South Korea
After receiving an honorable discharge in 1955, Wes returned to Sioux City to work in the stockyards. He joined the stockhandlers union and became its chief steward, securing the first pension benefits for stockyard workers. After nine years, he went to work as a mechanic for a Caterpillar dealer, Missouri Valley Machinery, where he was elected to a leadership position in the Operating Engineers local union. Wes opened his own machinery repair business, Tri-State Track Co., in 1983 and operated it until 1997. Currently, Wes works at the Orpheum Theatre, which, was refurnished back to its 1927 version. He works the shows and helps with the upkeep of the theatre.
Wes and his wife, Donna, have been married for 30 years. They have four children – Pamela, Peg, Wesley and Jodi – all graduates of Sioux City public schools. They have five grandsons.
Wes has a long history of community involvement. Wes’ oldest child, Pamela, has Downs Syndrome, and Wes helped start the Woodbury County Association for Retarded Citizens and served as one of its first presidents. He is also an active member in the Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council.
When the city was building Little League fields everywhere but Wes’ side of town, Wes and other volunteers solicited private donations and built a four-diamond baseball complex for neighborhood boys and girls. One of the fields is named in Wes’ honor.
As a member of the Sioux City Planning and Zoning Commission, Wes worked with federal authorities to start flood control improvements along Perry Creek.
Wes is also a member of the Riverside PAC, which has helped rehabilitate housing and improve streets and sewer services on Sioux City’s west side, and served for twenty years on the Siouxland Metropolitan Planning Council (SIMPCO).