Frank Burton “Burt” Whitman, Jr, 85, of Gilbert, AZ, formerly of Bloomington, passed away peacefully October 30, 2014, at Chandler, AZ, after a recent illness. Services will be arranged at a later time. Burt was born Jan. 10, 1929, in Normal, IL, attended Normal Community High School and Illinois Wesleyan University before marrying Mary Katherine “Katie” O’Rourke on May 29, 1950. He was a fixture at Rose Sporting Goods for over thirty years while he and Katie raised their four girls and three boys. Their Bloomington house was a second home to many of the friends of the Whitman siblings. They moved to Phoenix, AZ in the mid-eighties where Burt became known as the “wood guy” at the Payless Cashways in Gilbert, AZ. He would awe the customers with his talent, producing works of art with his scroll saw and a block of wood. Many a friend and family member has a cherished piece of Burt’s art. He was the number one fan of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, attending numerous games, meets, and recitals over the years, encouraging them in their pursuits and interests. An avid sports fan to the end, he was a gifted athlete (baseball, basketball, football and golf). He loved volunteering at the Phoenix Open to be close to the action. Burt was in heaven with his sports package on cable TV so he could always find a game or match to watch. Burt is survived by his children, Ann (Jim) Brandt, David (Peggy) Whitman, Mary Lou (Jack) Lungerich, Kathy (Bob) Waropay, John (Brenda) Whitman and Jane Whitman; daughter-in-law, Colleen; 15 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife, Katie and youngest son, Bob “Boo.” In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Frank Burton Whitman, Jr. may be made to Illinois Wesleyan University at Illinois Wesleyan University, Attn: Advancement Office, P.O. Box 2900, Bloomington, IL 61702-2900.
Just the other day, Alan, my son said to his sister Andi, seen Burt Whitman lately? Andi called around to check on Burt, but later found his / this obituary. My family loved Burt and we sure do miss him. Burt started doing business with us October 4, 1990. His Customer number is 101 and we are over 36,000 today. Burt made name signs for our new employees and just about anything “wood” we needed. THEN Burt came to work for us on May of 2008 and left us October of 2009. He was a wonderful human, a stand up Man and he sure loved his wife and family. God Bless you Burt, may you now rest in peace along side the rest of your loved ones. We miss you buddy.