Don Whitlock

On Thursday, June 13, 2019, Don Whitlock, a gregarious man who loved the outdoors, died at home as was his wish, with his wife, Betsy, and daughters, Kate and Karen, at his side. He was 83.

Born in Potsdam, New York, he was the first of two sons of Audrey and Don Whitlock Sr. When the boys were small, the family moved to Black River where Don and his brother, David, grew up in a friendly small-town community atmosphere, walking to school, fishing in the Black River, and roaming the countryside.

After graduation from Black River High School, Mr. Whitlock attended the State College for Teachers, now the University at Albany, where he met his future wife, Betsy Leaning. They were married in 1959 and moved to the Adirondack town of Saranac Lake.

Mr. Whitlock taught high school English in both Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. “Tupper Lake would always hold a special place in his heart,” his family wrote in a tribute. “The son of a deer hunter, he joined the local hunting club, a delightful group of men that he would remain friends with to this day.”

Son Mark and daughter Kate were born during those Adirondack years before Mr. Whitlock returned to Albany, bringing his family to live in the city while he completed his master’s degree. During those two years of study, he worked in the Student Financial Aid office, resulting in an offer to fill the position of director when it became vacant, a job he held until retirement. The family moved to a house in Altamont where a year later twins Karen and Brian were born.

The next move was to an unfinished new house, built by Charles Simons and Mr. Whitlock with the aid of family and friends. Completing this house would take many years.

“A gregarious man, Don made many friends throughout his life,” his family wrote. “He was a longtime member of the Kiwanis where he is remembered fondly as the guy who cooked the sausage for the Maple Breakfast each spring. He also was an avid fisherman and outdoorsman.”


Don Whitlock is survived by his wife of 60 years, Betsy; by his brother brother, David, and his wife, Joan; by his sons Mark and Lisa and Brian; and by his daughters, Kate and John, and Karen.

Calling hours will be held on Saturday, June 15, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Fredendall Funeral Home at 199 Main Street in Altamont with a funeral service to follow at 4 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to Albany Hospice.


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