It is with much sadness that we bring news of Bill Whittemore's passing. He died April 4, after a 19-year long fight with cancer.
Bill's brother Jim sent a note: Bill had contracted prostrate cancer in the late nineties and fought hard, won many battles but cancer overtook him in the long run. He was a fighter and during that whole time, he was always, Bill.
This is from the obituary in the Ridgefield Press:
Bill was a business lawyer for 45+ years. He began his law practice with the New York City law firm of Arthur, Dry & Kalish, and later was in-house corporate counsel for Mobil Corporation and then Freeport McMoRan. He founded and, for the next 20+ years, operated his own business law firm based in Ridgefield, Connecticut. A graduate of George Washington University National Law Center in Washington, D.C., he was a member of the Connecticut and New York Bars (and had also been licensed in Virgina, Louisiana and Pennsylvania). Bill served on the Boards of Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce, the Ridgefield Chamber Foundation, the Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue (R.O.A.R.) and the Ridgefield Community Foundation.
Alongside his law practice, Bill served as a mediator for many years for the Westchester Mediation Center based in Yonkers, New York. He also served as a commercial arbitrator of cases administered by the American Dispute Resolution Center (ADRC) based in New Britain, Connecticut. He was a longstanding member of the American Bar Association (ABA), the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA), the Association For Conflict Resolution (ARC), and an active member of the CBA’s Section of Alternative Dispute Resolution. He believed that virtually all parties who are unable to resolve their own disputes should consider using a trained mediator before resorting to a court of law for relief. He believed that the principles of “empathetic reasoning” were the keys to successful conflict management in any important relationship.
Bill and his family belonged to the South Salem Presbyterian Church for over 20 years, where he was a member of the Session for multiple terms and also served as a tenor in the choir. He felt strongly that his family’s move to Ridgefield in the mid-1990’s, leaving behind the travel and hectic lifestyle of his corporate law career, and at a time when his children were still very young, was one of the keys to his and his family’s happiness.
This lifestyle change provided him with professional independence while enabling him to participate with his wife, Emily, in school, church and other local activities as his children grew up. He loved tennis and played the sport most of his life, particularly enjoying his regular singles play for many years at the Ridgefield Athletic (a/k/a Tennis) Club. The sport was more then a physical outlet for him, as he also viewed the competition and camaraderie as a source of life inspiration. Reading literature and history broadly alongside these things rounded out what he thought essential to his lifelong growth.
Bill was raised in Larchmont, New York, one of six children of the late William C. Whittemore, Jr. and Suzette S. Whittemore. Last December, he and his wife, Emily B. Whittemore celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary. Bill was always grateful to his doctors and the warm relationship he had with the nurses and other members of the medical staffs at Danbury Hospital’s Praxair Cancer Center. He is survived by Mrs. Whittemore, and their two children, Todd C. Whittemore of Wilmington N.C. and Claire E. Whittemore of Stamford, CT, two grandchildren (Nicholai and Taylor), and his five brothers and sisters: Hank, James, Suzanne, Richard and Marianne.