WHITEMAN, Carol DuVal
98, passed away on January 29, 2021, at her home in Phoenix.
Carol was an honored playwright, published poet, theater entrepreneur, philanthropist and, when married to Dr. Merlin K. DuVal, a driving force in the recruitment of the founding faculty at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. While serving on the state art's commission, she met and subsequently married fellow Art's Commission member Jack Whiteman with whom she had some of the happiest years of her life.
Carol lived in a home near Phoenix Mountain Park. Her daily ritual began opening the curtains, looking at the mountains and declaring, "that's fabulous" often followed by surveys of the clouds, and, later in the day, periods of silence when, as the unofficial gardener, she faithfully tended to the Arizona sky and its magnificent orange-red blossoms.
Carol was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1922, grew up in Montclair, New Jersey and later received her degree from Russell Sage College in Troy, NY.
Carol started her professional life in the 40's as a clothing designer in New York and was one of the first to design maternity clothing. However, what called to her most fervently were the arts.
She had a love of the stage. In 1966, she became one of the founders of the Arizona Civic Theater, which in subsequent years became the Arizona Theater Company. If her love was for the theater, her passion was the ballet; she was credited as being one of the three saviors of Ballet Arizona some years ago when it was facing collapse.
Always active in the arts, Carol was the author of play called Katsina, which was based on Hopi traditions. It won the national "L. Arnold Weissberger award for excellence in playwriting and the Quarterly Review of Literature's International Poetry Competition; there were more than a dozen others. Among them were The Governor's Award from The Arizona State Commission on the Arts as Philanthropist of the Year while Phoenix's Childsplay created The Carol Whiteman Conservatory. Carol was a published poet - as was her father - and the University of Arizona Poetry Center honored her by creating the Carol D Whiteman Wall of Poets. She was a member of Tucson Community Center Commission from 1969 to 1972- and was one of the commissioners responsible for the building of the complex downtown.
For all her achievements, her most passionate energies were invested into her family in which she took great pride. She is succeeded by three children, David, Barbara and Fred; seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren and her very best friend, a street cat named Hoover with whom she has shared many secret; he particularly enjoyed readings from a book of Carol's poetry called Catnip.
Due to the virus, a memorial service will not be held and donations should be made to Arizona Ballet or to Childsplay.
Some years ago, Carol was knighted "Queen of the Arts," by the Phoenix New Times. She was indeed a champion of the arts.
And the art of life.
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Published by Arizona Daily Star on Feb. 21, 2021.