Robert G. Whittemore
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Robert G.


July 21, 1925 - December 28, 2008

Long-time Nevada educator and former Washoe County School Trustee Robert G. (Doc) Whittemore, Jr., from Sparks passed away on December 28, 2008, leaving behind a lasting legacy of love, faith and service to others. Born on July 21, 1925 in Grand Junction, Colorado to Robert G. and Lolita Leach Whittemore, his early life was primarily spent in Colorado where he attended elementary school and high school.

He was an accomplished student and was graduated from high school at the age of 15. He achieved this feat even though his freshman year was spent entirely in a hospital recovering from numerous injuries having been hit by a car while riding his bicycle. Told he would never walk again, he recovered so completely that he was able to participate in intercollegiate athletic activities, including boxing and track at Mesa College in Grand Junction, Colorado from which he graduated at age 17 with an associate's degree.

Enlisting in the United States Army immediately after this graduation, he served with distinction in the 44th Tank Battalion in one of the most awe-inspiring missions of World War II in the Pacific. In February 1945, under the direction of General Douglas MacArthur, he was one of the first men of the famed raids to liberate over 3700 civilians and 1300 prisoners of war held at the Santo Tomas University in Manila, Philippines. He was the leader and organizer of reunions of the members of the 44th Tank Battalion and took great pride in their accomplishments and the friendships made during the war. Following his discharge from the Army as a staff sergeant in January 1946, he enrolled at the University of Nevada, graduating with academic honors in 1947. He then immediately obtained a Master's Degree in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. Following his studies at Berkeley, he entered the field of education as an English teacher. He was a well-loved faculty member at Mineral County High School, Visalia (California) Union High School, and Reno High School while in his twenties and then became the principal at Yerington High School at the age of 31.

In 1959, he became a lecturer in secondary education at the University of Nevada. Recipient of a National Defense Education Act scholarship, he attended Arizona State University and received a doctorate in educational psychology and counseling psychology in 1963. Following service with the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, he then returned to the University of Nevada as the Director of Counseling and Testing and later Dean of General University Extension. In 1974, he retired from the University. He was very proud of the impact he made on the students with whom he interacted, commenting often on their successes and achievements.

Named an “outstanding educator“ in 1965 by Phi Delta Kappa, Dr. Whittemore was an active participant in many professional activities related to education. He was a contributor to numerous professional journals and was trustee of the American College Testing Program. He was a founder of the Nevada Humanities Committee and was elected by 90,000 school boards across the United States as a director of the National School Board Association. In two successive years, he was named the outstanding school board member for Nevada while serving as a Washoe County School Trustee.

He had an abiding interest in helping others and throughout his career counseled many troubled adolescents and adults at Wittenberg Hall, the Nevada Department of Prisons and most recently at Rite of Passage. He was always immensely proud of the successes achieved by those whom he counseled.

He was appointed by three Nevada governors to the Nevada Board of Psychological Examiners where he served for 14 years. He was honored twice for outstanding lifetime achievements by his fellow psychologists.

A devoted Presbyterian, he was a member of numerous commissions and governing boards of the church. An ordained lay preacher, he gave freely of his time and talents to the churches in Nevada and California.

His family will remember him most as a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was married in 1947 to Marion Leslie Harvey, a co-ed whom he met at the University of Nevada. They were the parents of five children of whom he was immensely proud: Robert Alan, Leslie Carolyn (Lynn), Frederick Harvey, David Clark and Ellen Fae. His wife, Leslie passed away in 1995 and daughter, Lynn passed away in 2001. He will be sorely missed by Bob (Saundra), Harvey (Annette), David, Ellen Whittemore and her husband, Jeff Patterson and Lynn's husband, Max Wilson; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who were the love of his life, Amy Christine Wilson Clark (Matt); D.J. Whittemore (Alicia) and their children, Aidan, Robert George III, Fiona, and Gwyneth; Kelly Diane Wilson; Andrea Leslie Whittemore and her fiancé, Brian Goad; Maggie Ellen Wilson Kingsbury (Brandon) and their children, Bailey and Kyla; Robert Scott Whittemore (Kristin); Jenny Lynn Wilson and her children, Tianna and Cameron Carroll; Natalie Marie Whittemore Okeson (Todd); Andrew Christian Patterson (Lindsey); Gregory Clark Whittemore; Michael Allan Wilson (Beth); Adrien Sarah Whittemore; Morgan Kacie Patterson; Jeffrey Chase Whittemore; Katie Marie Wilson; Madeline Gwen Whittemore; and Andrew John Whittemore and his sister, Madeleine Bertagnole.

He is survived by his wife, Sybil and was very blessed to gain a wonderful second family upon his marriage to her in December 1996. She was his constant loving partner and a companion to him at a wide variety of family celebrations and University of Nevada athletic events. Sybil and her children, Kristin McCassie and her children, Jake and Becca; Stephanie and Jeff Broline and their children, Matthew and Madisyn Rose and Brian (Keko) Maldonado were a source of much enjoyment in his later years. He was also dad and grandpa to Tsige Gesit and her children, Sutafe Bogale and Zalelem Bogale and was affectionately known as dad or grandpa to numerous others for whom he was an inspiring role-model. He will also be missed by his brother, Dr. C.A. Whittemore of Leavenworth, WA; brother-in-law, Fred Harvey and sister-in-law, Isabel of Sparks; sister-in-law, Betty Blaikie of Reno; brother-in-law, Bob Nebeling of Corpus Christi, TX and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his brother, CDR F. H. Whittemore and his wife, Billie; his sister, Sue Whittemore Nebeling; his sisters-in-law, Bernice Whittemore, Mary Harvey, and Audrey Harvey; and his brothers- in-law, Jack Blaikie, Jim Harvey, and Sam Harvey.

Services will be held on January 2, 2009 at 1 p.m. at St. John's Presbyterian Church, 1070 W. Plumb Lane, Reno, NV 89509. A reception will be held at the Resort at Red Hawk immediately following the services. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Whittemore-Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease to be located at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, 6600 N. Wingfield Parkway, Sparks, NV 89436. The WPI was founded by his daughter-in-law, Annette to discover causes of and treatment for chronic neuro-immune diseases.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in the Reno Journal-Gazette and Mason Valley News from Dec. 31, 2008 to Jan. 4, 2009.
Memories & Condolences
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17 entries
January 5, 2009
Wish to extend my condolences to family in the loss of Dr. Bob, he was very influencial in my becoming a teacher.In rural Yerington we felt priviledged when he came to teach extention classes.Very much enjoyed his sense of humor and I respected him greatly. His legacy of accomplishments will be long remembered. He will be missed.
Sincerely June Matheus
June Matheus
January 5, 2009
To the Whittemore Family. What a privilege and honor it was to have known Dr. Whittemore. A caring human being, always with a smile on his face and a good word. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you. My regards,
Linda Howard
January 2, 2009
I was the ring-bearer at Uncle Bob's and Aunt Leslie's wedding in 1947. I remember to this day walking down the aisle of the Federated Church carrying the ring on a pillow while my good friend Barbara Jones was the flower girl. Somehow both Barbara and I made it to the altar where my Grandfather, the Reverend John Leslie Harvey performed the wedding. It was a glorious day for the young Whittemores and they and my cousins have been and always will be part of the great memories growing up together. Uncle Bob and Aunt Leslie were fun to be around and I shall always remember the great times at Lake Tahoe. The great promise is that we shall all be together again in our gracious Lord's good time! It is also fitting that my brother, the Reverend Douglas Blaikie officiated at the memorial service at St. John's
John Blaikie
January 2, 2009
Dr. Robert will always be remembered by the Stouts. We found a lot of joy visiting and learning from such a good role model for our children. They refer to Dr. Robert often. We will miss our friend, our mentor and our neighbor. Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and Sybil.

Denny and Marilyn Stout
Janna Rice
Loren Stout
Stacy Stout
Denny Stout
January 2, 2009
Harvey & Annette - Our condolences on the loss of your father. We send our hope and prayers that God will grant you and your family peace and confort and many happy memories of Robert.
Lash Family
January 2, 2009
I have been forever changed by being a part of this man's life; by just being in the mire midst of his being was life altering. I am a part of his hard work and dedication and will forever hope that I can be worthy of his effort and make him proud.

You will be missed. I will carry you in my heart and try to share some of you that was left to me with others.


Amber Wood
Morrison University 2002-2005
Amber Wood
January 1, 2009
To the Whittemore Family,
Robert was a warm and loving man who made a difference to so many. He gave encouragement, hugs, smiles and joy to old and young alike. We feel priviledged to have known him and pleased to have shared a part of his life. More than anything else we will always remember the great pride he took in his amazing , beautiful family. Our sincere condolences,
The Paganetti Family
Bill and Maryanne Paganetti
January 1, 2009
Please accept our sympathy and condolence for your loss.
Delores and Press Clewe
Delores and Press Clewe
January 1, 2009
I am so sorry for your loss of Robert.
He was a devoted husband for the last 12 years. I'll never forget when we would come home from our Mexican vacations at Easter time
when he would pick you up with such a gleem in his eyes, he truly loved you. I know you will miss him
and the wonderful times you shared together. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
Janet Mayer/Montelatici
December 31, 2008
What a shock when Mother called and said Dr. Whittemore had passed away! Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.
Chuck & Diane Saladin Stamey
December 31, 2008
Bob and his wife Leslie and their five children were and are very special to me and my family. Our parents were the best of friends. My love and sympathy to Bob's wife and especially to his children.
Marsha Parker
December 31, 2008
To the Whittemore family, our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.

Rose Family
December 31, 2008
To Ellen, Harvey, Annette, and David,
It was heartbreaking to hear of your father's passing. I always loved him. My whole family did. There are too many fond memories for me regarding your father to convey to you. Just know that he was well loved by the Jacksons - especially me. God bless you all.
Pamela [Jackson] Sullivan, Charles and Mary Jackson, James and Sheryl Jackson
Pamela Jackson Sullivan
December 31, 2008
He was the only father that I knew. His family took me in and treated me like their own. My kids Joshtin and Courtney knew him as their grandfather. He will be missed very much by me and my children. He is up in heaven with mom (Leslie). I will miss you lots and learned alot from you. God Bless
JoAnn Avilla (Tokar)
December 31, 2008
Harvey and Annette, I'm not sure you'll remember me, but I was a counselor at the UNR Counseling Center and got to know your dad during his many visits back there (and also remember you two dropping in to chat with Clare Parre.) My condolences to you all, and my thanks for this absolutely wonderful obituary. Bob really had an amazingly accomplished life, and I had no idea of his World War II experiences.
Margaret Rockenbeck
December 31, 2008
My heart and prayers go out to the Whittemore family. Dr. Whittemore was a positive influence in many peoples lives. He will sincerely be missed. He was always a voice of encouragement to me.
December 31, 2008
I will miss Doc because he was the most gentle person I ever met. He was a great teacher and mentor for me in my career at Wittenberg. I have nothing but fond memories of Doc. Good luck to all the Whittemore's
Mike Healy
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