Leighton Whitaker
1932 - 2018
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MEDIA, PA – Leighton C. Whitaker, Jr., PhD, ABPP, of Media, died on May 10, 2018, in Newtown Square.

Born in Chester in February 1932 to Helen and Leighton Whitaker Sr., and predeceased by his parents and sister, Doris Whitaker Schaffer, Lee, as he was known, is survived by his wife, Suzanne; their three children, Corinne, Priscilla, and Benjamin; a grandson; and nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.

After a long career serving mental health needs as an educator, author, and therapist, including as a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Director of that institution's mental health services (1970s), and working as a highly respected editor of numerous mental health journals, Lee continued his private practice into his 80s. His ninety professional publications address clinical and social subjects, including college-student suicide, schizophrenia (he developed the WIST, Whitaker Index of Schizophrenic Thinking), and understanding and preventing violence.

A lover of Shostakovich, The Ink Spots, sports, and barking out car windows at dogs, Lee will be profoundly missed by his family, a lifetime of patients and colleagues, countless readers, and a world in search of emotional healing.

A private family burial will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages a gift to a charity of your choice, support for a dog-rescue or therapy-dog organization, or a gesture to reduce violence in the world.

Online condolences: www.donohuefuneralhome.com

Arrs. by: The Donohue Funeral Home, Newtown Square, PA 610-353-6300

To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to legacy.com/obituaries/gazettenet.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Jun. 16, 2018.
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2 entries
June 28, 2018
I have not seen Leighton in decades; however I remember him in the 50s and 60s as a warm host and caring husband of Suzanne, his wife and my old friend. Both Suzanne and I had worked disturbed children and so I was interested in Lee's professional life. I remember being so touched about his way of interacting with schizophrenics, obviously regarding them as real people, not just as patients or cases. His legacy to our world is valuable and profound.
Margaret Cooper
June 27, 2018
I will always be grateful for the contribution Leigh made to my life as a mentor and friend during our years at the University of Massachusetts and before that with Job Corps. His service ideals and the depth of his understanding of mental illness distinguished him in our shared endeavors, as did his warmth and respect for all people, including even difficult patients. -- David Kraft, MD
David Kraft
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