Dr. Carlton F. Whitman


Dr. Carlton F. Whitman was the Band Director at Palmetto High School from 1959 until he obtained a leave of absence in the Fall of 1968 to continue his education at the University of Florida Music Department in Gainesville, Florida. He then accepted a teaching position in 1970 at the UF Music Department.

Whitman was born Monday, December 18, 1933 in Samson, Alabama. He obtained his bachelor's degree from Auburn University in 1956 and his master's degree from Troy State University in 1960. He went on to earn his Specialist Degree in Education in 1969 and his doctorate in September, 1970 from the University of Florida. Whitman was an alumnus of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity at Auburn as well as Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity. He was President of the Manatee County Classroom Teachers Association during the teacher strike in early 1968

On Friday, October 9, 1970 at 3:00pm just north of SR 25 on SR 121 Dr. Whitman was driving to his home at 2006 N.W. 36th Terrace south of Gainesville after teaching classes at the university. He was crossing some railroad tracks that weren't well marked, but on a route he always took. Although he was only 36 years old, he evidently had some hearing loss and did not notice a train coming that day as the Florida Highway Patrol reported that the road was dry and the weather was clear but the brakes of Whitman's car were apparently not applied before it struck the front of the train.

He was survived by his wife Nancy and four sons - Lee, Jay, Del and Tod.

A memorial service was held at 3:00pm on Sunday, October 11, 1970 at Grace Presbyterian Church of Gainesville and he was interred in Samson, Alabama.

The University of Florida Foundation still awards a scholarship named the "Carlton Whitman Memorial Music Fund" honoring his memory.

A Facebook page was created by his son Jay to honor Dr. Whitman.

-Compiled from UF Foundation records, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune obituary published October 11, 1970 and former students' recollections


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