May 28, 2020
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DANA T. WHITMAN JR.

ROCKY HILL, Conn. – Dana T. Whitman Jr., 86, passed away peacefully Feb. 5, 2010, at Hartford (Conn.) Hospital. He was born in 1923, in Bangor, the son of Dana T. Whitman Sr. and Edna Peavey Whitman. Dana attended public schools in Bangor. He was a graduate of the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Art degree in history, and earned his master’s degree in public administration at the University of Michigan in 1951. He served in the U.S. Army 104th Infantry Division in World War II in the European Theatre and was recalled to active duty in the Korean War. He served as a squad leader platoon sergeant and second lieutenant infantry. He was awarded the European Theater ribbon with three Battle Stars, Silver Stars, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and Combat Infantryman Badge. He was employed in local government administration for nearly 40 years as assistant to the city manager; assistant manager in Birmingham, Mich., and was the first town manager in Holden, Mass., Newton, N.J., and Rocky Hill, Conn., between 1950 and 1990, excluding war service in 1951-1952. He was in Holden, Mass., during the devastating 1953 tornado, which struck the Worchester area, June 30, 1953. He served in Newton, N.J., for 12 years and was the manager in Rocky Hill, Conn., for just more than 22 years, retiring June 30, 1990. In Rocky Hill, Conn., he was instrumental in the acquisition of the Bigelow-Sanford property, off Dividend Road, which was developed as an industrial park, phase one, and Old Forge condominiums and fire-ambulance headquarters, plus about 60 acres set aside for open space with two ponds and a brook. His caring guidance throughout his tenure in Rocky Hill, Conn., working with elected and appointed officials laid the groundwork for the office development like corporate ridge and I-91 Tech Center and the emergence of Rocky Hill, Conn., from a largely rural small town to a full service suburb, with a diversified tax base and a good mix of residential, commercial and industrial land uses. Since his retirement he continued to be active as an alternate management member of state labor board, interim town manager in South Windsor, interim public works director in Woodbridge, and as municipal consultant in Connecticut. He was a member of the democratic town committee for four years and treasurer for two years. He served on a charter revision commission. He was a member of the library board of trustees and its chairman for much of his tenure of more than eight years. He was director of Berlin Savings Bank and then Mid-Conn from 1976 to 1994, before the bank merged with Eagle and then Webster Banks. After retirement he became very active in the local chamber of commerce, serving as president for three years, director, treasurer and economic development coordinator. He directed the Memorial Day Parade for many years as a joint town-chamber project. He developed several recognition programs and prepared a data book and business directory and an ombuds person program to assist new and existing businesses to obtain needed local approvals. He was chair of the Board of Governors coordinating five suburban chambers in 2003-2004. He was a University of Connecticut basketball fan, attending games regularly, since his family was the host family for Jonathan VIII, Siberian husky University of Connecticut mascot. He and his family have summered at Branch Lake since 1967. In addition to his wife of 63 years, Helen Herrick Whitman, he is survived by four children, Dana III and friend, Nancy Platek, of Wallingford, Conn., Dr. Christian Whitman of Austin, Texas, Matthew and Mary Whitman of Westchester, Pa., and Noel Whitman and special friend, Mary Jo Capitani, of Manchester, Conn.; three grandchildren, Dana IV and his wife, Sofia, Joshua Whitman and Matthew Whitman Jr.; and one great-grandchild, Dana V. He also leaves his husky dog, Casey. The family thanks the staff of the neuro-trama intensive care unit and the palliative care staff, especially Colleen Mulkerin at Hartford Hospital for their support during this time. There are no calling hours. A memorial service will be held 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, at Rocky Hill Congregational Church. Burial will be private at the convenience of the family at Rocky Hill Cemetery. Contributions may be made to the Dana Whitman Jr. and Helen Whitman Scholarship Fund at the University of Maine, Orono, ME 04473. To offer online words of sympathy, please visit www.Brooklawnfuneralhome.com.


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