77, of Millis, formerly of Sherborn, passed away at home on May 1 surrounded by family after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Beloved husband of Joan (Cookson) Whitman, with whom he spent 54 happy years of marriage. Loving father of Scott Whitman and his wife Karen of St. Paul, MN, Sharyn Hopkins and her husband Scott of Medway, and Beth Reilly and her husband Glenn of Norfolk. Proud grandfather of Brynne, Ryan, Halle, and Braedon. Predeceased by his granddaughter Kate. Son of the late Edward C. and Dorothy R. Whitman and son-in-law of Wilbert and Ellen Cookson. Survived by brother Edward Whitman of Potomac, MD and sisters-in-law Lucy Cookson and Jane Leitch of Eastham. Uncle to Robert, Michael, and Leslie. Beloved friend to many, many more. Bob was born and raised in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, where he played baseball, dined on hot dogs at Rutt’s Hut, and met Joan. He matriculated at Rutgers University, graduating with a degree in Political Science and proudly earning a ROTC commission as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army. Following his army service, which included a tour in Korea, he settled into family life with Joan, together raising three children in North Arlington, New Jersey and Sherborn, Massachusetts. Bob earned an MBA from Fairleigh-Dickinson University and parlayed his strong work ethic, integrity, and likeability into a successful career in the insurance industry, the capstone of which was ownership of his own small employee benefits firm. Bob savored the good things in life: his family and friends, a good meal (and a good snack), a cold beer, traveling the U.S. and the world, an engrossing book, weekends in Vermont, the companionship of a family pet, stamp collecting, a ballgame, perfectly pressed pants. He will be remembered for his warmth and generosity, as well as for his propensity to laugh (including at himself). A joyous celebration of his life will be held at a later date. In the meantime and in lieu of flowers, well-wishers are welcome to make a donation in his name to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to support cancer research and patient care at: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via www.dana-farber.org/gift. And tomorrow, or whenever you are able, treat yourself to a big breakfast. Bob would have loved that!
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Thomas Whitman, please visit our floral store.