Harrison (Carl) Carlton Whitman, 94, died in his sleep at his son Bill Whitman’s house on April 10 in Idyllwild, CA.
Carl was born June 18, 1924, to Walter George Whitman and Grace Bates Whitman in Salem, MA.
Carl Received a bachelor of science degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and then immediately joined the Navy in 1944, where he served in the Pacific during and after WWII. He received an honorable discharge in 1948, and then took up his lifelong pursuit of education. He received a M.A. in sociology from the University of Connecticut, a M.S. in mathematics from the University of Florida, and a PhD in education from Florida State University.
He taught at Fisk University in Nashville, TN, Conrad High School in West Hartford, CT, St. Petersburg Junior College in St. Petersburg, FL, and Florida A&M University.
Carl held professional membership in the Mathematics Association of America, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Association of Mathematicians, and the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He also was active with the United Faculty of Florida Union, serving as vice president of the FAMU chapter and statewide Step II grievance chairman.
It was in Hartford that he met Betsey Sellner Whitman. In 1960 they were wed and soon moved to Florida. After living in St. Petersburg and Gainesville, FL, they moved to Tallahassee in 1967 where they raised their four children: William (Bill), Eliza Jane, Harrison and Rebecca.
Carl retired from teaching in 1990 and he and Betsey moved to Framingham, MA. Betsey continued to teach for an additional 22 years while Carl continued many endeavors as a social activist in humanitarian causes including Witness for Peace in Nicaragua and Jubilee 2000.
In late 2012, Carl and Betsey packed up and moved west, initially settling in Palm Desert, then Idyllwild where they lived from 2015 through 2016. Carl and Betsey lived in an assisted living facility in the desert for 20 months before returning to Idyllwild in September of 2018.
Carl had two siblings, George Whitman (of Shakespeare and Co. in Paris, France, fame) and Mary Whitman. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Betsey; sons Bill and his wife Melissa of Idyllwild, Harrison of Atlanta, GA, daughter Eliza Jane Whitman and her husband Rex Moats of Altadena; grandchildren Atticus Moats, Aude Claire Moats and Antoine Moats, of Altadena, Ethan Whitman and Eli Whitman of Scottsdale, AZ, and step grandchildren Lilly Kirk and Julian Kirk of Newnan, GA.
His funeral will be at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 21, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, 69855 Ramon Rd. Cathedral City. A visitation and viewing will precede the service from 12-2 p.m., and a celebration of life afterward at Bill Whitman’s home: 55500 S. Circle Dr. Idyllwild, CA 92549 for family, friends, food, drink and good cheer.
In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to Witness for Peace: 1050 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036, or online at witnessforpeace.org.

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