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Robert E. Whittaker, 88, of Cleveland moved on to a new chapter in his life, on Tuesday, July 10, 2012, at Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Hospital in Sheboygan.
Robert was born April 10, 1924, in Shanghai, China to the late Edward and Evelyn (Larson) Whittaker. On June 19, 1987 he married Nancy Oldenburg.
His career started as a Merchant Marine. He graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy and progressed to captain with a Master Mariner's unlimited license for any ocean and any size steam or motor vessel in the world. During his career he travelled 16 times around the world, visiting 85 countries.
He then moved to his next career video and film making and created his own company in 1964 - Compasss Films. For 40 years he made military films from Vietnam to Northern Ireland; medical films from the Aids wards of a hospital in Boston and Africa to medical research laboratories in Malaysia, Minnesota, and Brazil. He has filmed documentaries such as the "Fire Walkers of Bali, Scientists Under the Sea, Power for a Nation and hundreds of others. He scripted 47 films.
Robert transplanted himself from New Jersey to Cleveland, Wisconsin next to, as he likes to call it "the inland sea" of Lake Michigan. For 19 years he worked free-lance for Kohler Company in Wisconsin making promotional films and videos for their bath products.
His final career was that of a writer. He spent three years on a research project of a non-fiction book titled "Dragon Master…The Kaiser's One-Man Air Force in Tsingtau, China 1914". Robert contributed to and published a non-fiction book titled "China Anthology, Seventy Years of Shanghai "Tiffin" Perspectives.
He is survived by his loving wife and soulmate Nancy, his children, David (Jennifer) - California, Diane (Bob) Morrow - Massachusetts, and Linda Whittaker - Massachusetts, his granson, Beau Whittaker, mother-in-law - Germaine Oldenburg and sisters -in-law, Connie Oldenburg and Jennifer (Dan) Kellner.
A private family service will be held.
The family would prefer memorial donations be given to the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice (W2850 State Road 28, Sheboygan Falls, WI ).
Please visit zimmerfuneralhome.com to send e-mail condolences.
Published in Sheboygan Press on July 12, 2012