Barry James “BJ” Anthony Whitburn

Barry James “BJ” Anthony Whitburn, age 71, passed away on February 17, 2023 in Galveston, Texas. BJ’s journey began at St. Mary’s Infirmary in Galveston, Texas. Born to William and Olga Whitburn on June 30, 1951, BJ grew up on the island, attending Sacred Heart and graduating from Kirwin High School. Although BJ loved swimming with sharks at Sea-Arama during college he choose of life of law enforcement, and attended the DPS police academy in 1971. Over the years he dutifully served the citizens as an officer with UTMB, Jamaica Beach, and Galveston Police Departments, and was named “Rookie of the Year” for GPD in 1986. Along the way BJ developed a passion for sharing his knowledge with others, and ultimately found himself teaching young recruits at College of the Mainland. What started as a second job soon evolved into his second career, and in time he became the Director of the Police Academy for College of the Mainland.

On December 3rd, 1988 BJ married the love of his life, Carrie. BJ and Carrie loved spending time together and with their family while making memories camping, raising and training dogs, competing in BBQ cook offs, riding motorcycles, SCUBA diving, taking tropical cruises, and attending grandchildren’s sporting events. He loved wearing T-shirts with witty phrases, but it was hard to find one as sarcastic as he was. The only thing bigger than his sense of humor was his sense of duty and his love of family. He had 3 daughters but over the years many others joined the ranks of the Whitburn family. In addition to being a lifelong peace officer, BJ also volunteered his time with the Third Coast Roller Derby, Lighthouse Charity Cooking Team, and Blue Santa.

BJ leaves his wife Carrie Whitburn and daughters Amy (Jens) Jensen (children: Ben, Kyler, Michael, Charlie, Piper, Phoebe) Lori (Sam) Greer (children: Edwin, Logan, Katie), and Dawn (Shawn McCain) Bassett as well as his bonus children Christina Jenkins-Beaudoin, Derek and Tamra Lacy, Tim and Jamie Ware, Richard and Erika Jo Harrison to cherish his memories. He also leaves many bonus grandchildren, and hundreds of lives that were touched during his lifetime.

A Memorial “Last Ride” will be held on March 4th at 1302 Broadway, Galveston, TX at 11:30 AM, with a Memorial Service to follow at 2:00 PM at James Crowder Funeral Home in Dickinson, TX.


  1. May his soul rest in peace. Prayers for strength and comfort for Carrie, children, family, and friends.
    Alecia Lemelle
    O’Connell Classmate 1969

    Alecia Lemelle
  2. To Carrie and the family.
    I’m keeping all of you in my prayers. Praying for God’s continued guidance, love and peace during this sorrowful time and forever in your lives. I remember Barry being a nice fun guy, a great classmate. Barry, thank you for all your years of service to protect. Rest in peace with God.

    Claudia Brown
    • Hi C.B. , Mario Mata here . Not sure if I’m doing this right. Just wanted to say hello and hoping everything is good with you. Take care my friend.

      Mario Mata
  3. Many prayers and much love to Barry’s family. He was a great guy who will be very missed. Fly with the Angels, dear friend.
    Kathy Heffernan Pero, O’Connell High School Class of 196

    Kathy Pero
  4. This gentle soul loved larger than life. His heart was big and kind and you knew there was nothing he wouldn’t do for you, all you had to do was call. I knew the first time I was introduced to him in the early 90’s he would be a lifelong friend and I am so blessed to have known him. He shared his heart, his recipes, his awesome grin and sense of humor. I have no doubt he’s whooping it up in Heaven, waiting on the rest of us to join him. My heart breaks for Carrie and the family. May God’s peace surround you and give you comfort, as you grieve. Much love, Diana

    Diana Young
  5. We’ll all miss you buddy, and pray in Jesus name to see you again in the hereafter.

    D.N White Jr
  6. Rip my old Kirwin classmate

    Dennis Byrd
  7. Rest In Peace my friend. You were a great friend.

    Barbara czencz
  8. We used to talk about how we could assist all the other brother officers in the whole area working them little missing gal cases, Laura smith and the others in League City Killing Fields. Volunteering the area searches, attempting to develop any suspects from traffic stops and were frustrated that we could not no no avail. I remember Berry took a strong interest in this as we all did. I enjoyed working with him, he was a fine officer. My son Joshua had him as one of his instructors when he went through COM Academy and developed a strong degree of respect for him. RIP my dear friend Barry Whitburn.

    charles david kiff
  9. BJ was so full of life with his witty humor/sarcasm…I enjoyed working with him at College of the Mainland. Rest in peace and tell el jefe “hello”.

    Kimberly Coons Smith
  10. “Peace Be With You” , family and friends of Barry

    Angela Massa Hernandez, classmate

    Angela Massa Hernandez
  11. I met Whitburn when I joined GPD in 1991. I always called him by last name because I had a lot of respect for him. One thing that I noticed about him was that he treated everyone with respect.
    My condolences to the family, rest now Whitburn, you did a lot of good in your life time.

    Pete Alcocer
  12. Rest in Peace Kirwin brother!!🙏

    Greg Szanyi
  13. God Comfort & Peace to his family. I remember Barry as classmate in school. Barry was so kind & friendly. R.I.P.🙏🌹

    Josie Hokanson
  14. May Barry rest in peace with the Good Lord and may his family find comfort in knowing that he is resting well in the hands of the Lord. Barry was a classmate of mine through our years at Kirwin and a fellow graduate of the first class of O’Connell. He was a great guy and well liked by all that knew him. Although I hadn’t seen Barry since the day we graduated I thought about him often. That’s the kind of impression he left on people. I always wondered about him, what he was doing and how he was doing. To the Whitburn family and friends, my deepest condolences . R.I.P. my friend .

    Mario Mata
  15. I first met BJ when I was working at the front desk of the Testing Center at the College of the Mainland where he would bring the cadets for testing and would have to wait for them. He would always chat and joke around with me. I think his favorite thing to do was talk about his dogs and show me pictures of them. Later when I moved to the gym, I always saw him when he came in for a workout. BJ always had a big smile and a positive attitude. My condolences to his family. He will be greatly missed.

    Kari Starz
  16. It’s hard to forget someone who gave so much to remember.

    Clemente Garcia, Jr
  17. I worked with B.J. when he served as an instructor in the Police Academy at College of the Mainland in the under the watchful eye of then Director, Robert Williamson. B.J.proved to be a superfluous instructor, and today to his credit, there are numerous officers who owe a debt of gratitude for their success to his professionalism as an instructor.

    Bev Mitchell Friday, March 3, 2023

    Beverly Mitchell
  18. Carrie & family, our hearts were broken to hear of BJ’s passing. He was so much bigger than life. So sweet & willing to do anything for anyone. Loved volunteering with you both at Lighthouse & of course loved seeing you at the GPD retirees parties. Will miss his funny antics, sweet smiles, & seeing how very much he loved you Carrie and his family. God bless you & your family. Love you

    Sara & Charley Roe
  19. Barry, you were one of the best. May the Lord keep you in his arms. Love, JB

    John Bockelman

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