William C. Whit ’63 died on August 2, 2022, in East Flat Rock, North Carolina.
(The following was provided by We Remember)
Born in 1941 in Pittsburgh, PA, from parents Mary Ziegler Whit and Lawrence B. Whit, the family later moved to Connecticut. Bill’s sister, Joanne, was born in 1944. They grew up in Westport, Connecticut, living the post-World War childhood captured by Norman Rockwell. During his childhood, Bill formed a life-long friendship with Tim Flint.
Bill excelled at school, receiving his BA in psychology from Bowdoin in 1963, his Masters in Divinity from Andover Newton in 1967, his Masters in Theological Ethics from Harvard in 1968 and his PhD in Sociology in 1976. Those times were remembered for Bill’s trip to Europe in 1962, his service as president of the Bowdoin Christian Association, his field work at the Blue Hill Christian Center for four years, and his years as a Teaching Fellow for four years at Harvard.
Bill’s academic career began as an assistant professor of sociology at Rhode Island College for six years, professor of sociology at Aquinas College for fifteen years and associate professor of sociology at Grand Valley State University for ten years. Academically, Bill was best known for his work on food sociology and the civil rights movement. Bill was the author of Food and Society: A Sociological Approach and a speaker on the sociology of food.
Civil rights were very important to Bill based on his community work in Roxbury, MA, and North Carolina from 1964 to 1974, culminating in his protest walk with Martin Luther King, Jr. Later, Bill went on to teach about civil rights at Aquinas and Grand Valley State University.
Bill was an avid travel having visited over thirty countries. His most memorable trips were to Asia and Cuba. Bill spent his best years in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with friends Eunice, Phil ,and many others. He had great fun playing tennis with his Aquinas friends, practicing his love for Tai Chi and hosting dinner parties at his home.
Later in life, Bill settled in Millbrook, Canada, where he leaves behind his good friend Joe Callus. After Canada, Bill migrated to live in beautiful Panama where he built a strong friendship with Mike Vorderburg. As Bill’s health declined, he moved to the Asheville, North Carolina, area. where he died peacefully at Tore’s Home in Flat Rock, North Carolina.
Bill will best be remembered by his ex-wife Nancy, his good friends, including Eunice, Tim, Joe, and Mike as well as his remaining family Joanne, Rob, Heather, and their extended families. Safe travels Bill on your next adventure!