Eugene Clarence Whiteman, of Cedar Rapids passed away at his home Monday, March 6, 2017. A gathering will be held on Friday March 10, 2017, from 4-7 p.m. at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home. His life will be celebrated at First Presbyterian Church, Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. with a luncheon to follow.
He was active in theater and music throughout his life as a singer, actor, and director; at schools, Great Lakes Naval Training Center, in Chicago with White Guards, and locally at The Barn Theater, Theater Cedar Rapids, and Cedar Rapids Follies. He performed in his final Follies at age 90. He sang in and directed church choirs in Panora, Rockwell City and Red Oak and sang for many years in the choir at First Presbyterian Church of Cedar rapids where he was also and Elder.
Gene was the life of every party and had a laugh that filled the room. He was a die-hard Cubs fan and was finally able to enjoy their World Series Win. He was an avid Hawkeye fan and football tailgater, always leading the Iowa Fight Song in the stands. A bridge player to the end, he also played tennis and softball.
He touched so many people and took great pride in shaping the lives of young people either as a teacher, a principal, or a cast member.
He volunteered with the Family Service Agency and the United Way in Cedar Rapids for many years and judged speech contests for the Thursday Noon Optimist Club.
Those left to cherish his memory include his wife of over 60 years, Joyce of Cedar Rapids, his children; Lynn (Mark) of Milwaukee, WI, and Brad (Cindy) of Columbus, OH, his grandchildren; Elizabeth (Rich) and Cameron; his brother, Richard (Pat); brother-in-law, Don Ford, sister-in-law, Rita Whiteman and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Phillip.
Gene was born to William and Grace Whiteman in Fort Madison, Iowa on October 26, 1925. He married Joyce Ford on April 7, 1955 in Spirit Lake, Iowa.
He was a Navy Officer and served during World War II and the Korean War.
He attended Berea College and graduated from Coe College in Cedar Rapids. He later earned his MA and PhD degrees from the University of Iowa. He had a successful career in teaching and administration beginning in Panora, Iowa and ending in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with stops in Rockwell City, Iowa and Red Oak, Iowa. After a brief stop at McKinley Junior High School and he opened Taft Junior High as principal in 1965. He served the school (later Taft Middle School) for twenty-five years. During his time in Cedar Rapids he was active with the North Central Association of Colleges and schools. He served on numerous school evaluation teams-chairing many of them.
The family would like to thank Mercy Hospice Respite Care, especially Kendra, Lisa and Sara, for their wonderful support and care over the last few months.
Instead of flowers, memorials can be made to Theater Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids Follies and First Presbyterian Church.