Dr. Edward C. Whitman, aged 82, passed away in Potomac, Maryland at 12:10 AM May 10, 2023.
Born June 12, 1940, in Newark, New Jersey and raised in nearby Lyndhurst with his late brother Robert (Bob) Whitman, sons of the late Edward Whitman and Dorothy (Maillot) Whitman. A proud product of public high school, Edward attended MIT on an Alfred P. Sloan National Scholarship. Participating in a co-op program throughout college with the Naval Ordnance Laboratory (NOL) in White Oak, Maryland, he left MIT with S.B., S.M. and E.E. degrees and remained a devoted U.S. Navy civilian employee for 40 years. After a decade of development engineering at NOL, largely in underwater sensors and weapons – while also earning a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland – Edward moved (he would say he was kicked upstairs) into Navy management and a long series of senior-executive positions. Moving with his family to Naples, Italy, he served as the Science Advisor to the Admiral of the 6th Fleet. Later he worked at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Offices of the Chief of Naval Operations, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for C4I and Space Programs, and as Technical Director to the Oceanographer of the Navy. Edward followed his retirement from the Navy in 1998 by joining the Center for Security Strategies and Operations (CSSO), a national security studies and analysis organization in Arlington, VA, as a naval science advisor. For five years, he also served as senior editor—and frequent contributor—to Undersea Warfare, the official magazine of the U.S. submarine force. He later co-authored the comprehensive history of anti-submarine warfare, Hunters and Killers, Volumes I & II. In his spare time, he studied Italian and joined the American Balalaika Symphony, a Russian folk-instrument orchestra, after teaching himself to play the domra-bass.
Edward raised his three children, twin sons Robert and Michael Whitman, and daughter Leslie Ann (Whitman) Dahring with his late wife Katherine Mary (Gaffney) Whitman in Laurel, Maryland. Widowed in 1988, he enjoyed his next stage of life in Potomac, Maryland devoted to his partner Debby Witt (the Viper of VA – if you know, you know) and a large extended family of children, 20 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren.
Ed’s passion for classical and organ music was enormous, as was his zeal for reading. His well-read book and music library was becoming one of the great collections of the world. His love of history was shared for decades in an infamous QOTD (quotation of the day) distributed to hundreds of recipients. A true polymath, and a Renaissance Man by any measure, he loved to travel, attend theater, cook fabulous meals, and entertain guests. However, his proudest role was that of father and grandfather to the next generations in his family.
This sounds like a lot, but it barely scratches the surface of the extraordinary life he led.
If you wish to honor Ed, in lieu of flowers, please donate to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, to which he was devoted; pick up a copy of his oft-quoted Spoon River Anthology, play some grand organ music loudly, cook a fabulous Italian meal, read a weighty book, try something new, travel, feed the birds, hug your loved ones close, and raise a glass of good red wine to Ed. He will be forever missed. What a man. What a life. We love you, Ed. Fair winds and following seas.
Edward will be buried in Union Cemetery in Burtonsville in a private family ceremony. A celebration of life is in the planning stages – stay tuned and prepare to eat pasta!
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