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Theodore Carleton Whitehead ’41

A picture of Carleton Whitehead

Theodore Carleton Whitehead ’41, September 29, 2004, in Oakland, California. The summer after his junior year at Reed, Carleton took a U.S. Government sponsored "learn to fly" class that was offered on the campus. In his senior year he took advanced flying (Physics 22), and graduated from Reed with a bachelor’s degree in political science. With flight training, he accepted a position as an air route traffic controller with the CAA (FAA) in Los Angeles before joining the U.S. Navy and serving for three years as a flight dispatcher during World War II. Carleton joined the naval reserves after the war, and was an air intelligence officer for 17 years. During that time he was also director and president of Mutual Housing Association, a 500-family cooperative in Los Angeles (1948 to 1952). In 1952, he accepted a position as alumni director at Reed, and went on to assume several college positions over the next 31 years: director of alumni and college relations, administrative assistant to the president, assistant to the president for public services, director of development, and secretary of the college. Carleton made numerous community connections during those years, and was affiliated with the City Club of Portland, the Multnomah County air pollution control board, the Willamette Greenway Association, the committee to save the Oregon Dunes, the Northwest chapter of the Sierra Club, and the ACLU, to name a few. His love of rowing on the Willamette River led him to found the Portland Rowing Club. He also served in various professional associations, such as president of the American Alumni Council. In retirement, he moved to the Bay Area and accepted a part-time position in development for the Sierra Club, a position he held for seven years. Relating to his work for the Sierra Club, and in his second retirement, he traveled extensively, and enjoyed the adventure of hiking, sea kayaking, and scuba diving around the world. He also took pleasure in building riverboats and a cabin retreat for his family in the Cascades, and crabbing on the Coast. In 1946, he married Dorothy B. Blosser; they had three children and later divorced. He married Ann Sterns ’44 in 1985. Survivors include Ann; two daughters, Lisa Whitehead Peacock ’75 and Cynthia L. Whitehead ’71, who provided details for this memorial; a son; two grandchildren; and his sister, Marian N. Whitehead Macdonald ’44.

Appeared in Reed magazine: February 2005

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