John Sealy Whitman of East Quogue and New Smyrna Beach, Florida, died at his East Quogue home on Sunday, December 28. He was 86.
Mr. Whitman was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. After graduating from Brooklyn Technical High School, he served in the United States Army from 1941 to 1945, during World War II.
He began his career at New York Telephone Company, rising through the ranks to become the director of security. During his career, he worked in conjunction with the FBI, helping to solve crimes from mail fraud to kidnapping cases.
Mr. Whitman was the recipient of the telephone company’s Vail Award for his heroic efforts in rescuing co-workers from the aftermath of an explosion at the company’s Broadway building in Manhattan in 1963.
Mr. Whitman was a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America, the New Smyrna Beach Golf Club, the Hidden Lakes Golf and Country Club and the Smyrna Yacht Club.
He was an avid reader, enjoyed doing crossword puzzles and was a supporter of the Hampton Bays Public Library.
He is survived by his wife, Gloria; three sons, Bruce Whitman of Temple, New Hampshire, Jack Whitman of Astor, Florida, and William Whitman of Hampton Bays; two daughters, Diane Yarbrough of Hatfield, Pennsylvania, and Janice Petersen of East Quogue; a sister, Gertrude Hendrick of Staten Island; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A wake was held at the R.J. O’Shea Funeral Home in Hampton Bays on December 30. A funeral service, conducted by Father Paul Dahm, was held at St. Rosalie’s Roman Catholic Church in Hampton Bays on December 31; interment was private.
In lieu of flowers, donations to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978 or the Hampton Bays Public Library, 52 Ponquogue Avenue, Hampton Bays, NY 11946 would be appreciated by the family.