Dr. Harrison DeWayne Whittington

Dr. Harrison DeWayne Whittington departed his life on November 20, 2012 at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Maryland after a brief illness.  Wayne, as he was affectionately called, was born to the late Marilyn Whittington and Alphonso Cottman on June 9, 1931.  He was raised by his late grandparents, Martina and Harry Whittington in Crisfield, Maryland.   Wayne was united in marriage in wedlock to his childhood sweetheart, Louise Holden in 1957 and would have celebrated 55 years of wedding bliss on November 30, 2012.

Wayne attended Somerset County Public Schools and graduated from Crisfield Colored High School in 1948.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State College in 1952.  His postgraduate studies include his Master of Education degree from Penn State University in 1961 and his Doctor of Education degree in 1980 from Nova University.  He completed his additional postgraduate studies at the following institutions: Temple University, University of Maryland, Loyola College, Weber State University, Salisbury University, Makato State University, Bowie University, George Washington University and East Strodsburg State College.

Wayne’s professional career began as he was inducted into the United States Army as First Lieutenant and was honorably discharged as Captain after serving two years.  Upon completing his service to the military, he began his teaching career in 1954 to 1962 at Carter G. Woodson School, formerly Crisfield Colored High School, as a Physical Education teacher and a Coach.  Wayne became Principal of Carter G. Woodson School in 1962 to 1969.  After leaving Carter G. Woodson School, he was appointed to the position of Title I Coordinator of Somerset County Public Schools from 1969 to 1970.  Wayne was then appointed as the Director of Federal Programs for Somerset County from 1970 to 1974.  In 1974, he served as the Coordinator of Human Relations with the Maryland State Department of Education.  In 1980, he served as Coordinating Supervisor Supporting Services with Somerset County Public Schools.  In 1981, he was appointed as the First Black Assistant Superintendent of Somerset County Public Schools.  In 1988, Wayne was the First Black Superintendent of Somerset County Public Schools and served in this position until 1992.  Wayne transitioned to the Department of Education as a Visiting Lecturer and Director of Field Experience at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore until his retirement. 

Wayne remained active and committed to the educational, business, religious, fraternal and civic communities by serving on many committees and Boards.  He was a lifelong member and supporter of Shiloh United Methodist Church in Crisfield, Maryland where he had held several positions in the Peninsula Delaware Conference.  He served as a member of the Investment Committee, Personnel Committee, Pension Committee, Committee on Review and Apportionments, the Methodist Men’s Association and Committee on Ordained Ministry.  Wayne was a King David Consistory 32nd Degree Mason; a lifelong member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated and awarded the “Omega Man of the Year” on more than one occasion; and also a member of the Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity.  He was inducted as the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Hall of Fame in recognition of the Academic Excellence.   Wayne also served on the McCready Memorial Hospital Governing Board for forty years, Crisfield Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Board of Directors at SHORE UP, Inc., lifelong member of the NAACP, Somerset County Economic Development Committee, Board of Visitors at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Governor Advocacy Committee of Eastern Shore Correctional Institution, Honorary Trooper of the Maryland State Police and many others too numerous to mention.

 His legacy remains in Crisfield, Maryland where the H. Dewayne Whittington Primary School was named in his honor; and also at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, Maryland where a portrait of Dr. H. DeWayne Whittington was unveiled.      

 He leaves to cherish fond memories his wife Louise of Marion Station, Maryland; brother, Winfield Whittington (Rev. Doretha Whittington) of Marion Station; sisters, Evola Maddox, Ethel Taylor (Randolph) bothof Crisfield and Shellie Jones (Rev. Frank Jones) of Thorofare, New Jersey; sisters-in-law, Lois Ward (William) of Crisfield, Bessie Holden and Tyvoila Holden both of Princess Anne, Maryland; brother-in-law, Calvin Hall of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; three godsons, Anthony E. Ward, Jr. (Denean), Leon Ward (Kendra) and DeWayne Cane; two goddaughters, Hope Ward Austin (Warren) and Lena Ward;  several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

A funeral service will be held 12 noon Saturday, December 1, 2012 at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore at the Ella Fitzgerald Performing Arts Center where friends may call two hours prior.  Friends may also call Friday evening, November 30, 2012, from 6 to 8 p.m at Shiloh United Methodist Church in Crisfield. Interment will be held at Spring Hill Memory Gardens in Hebron, Maryland.  In lieu of flowers, donations made be made to Shiloh United Methodist Church or to the Louise and DeWayne Scholarship Fund at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.



14 Responses to “Dr. Harrison DeWayne Whittington”

  • Charn Robinson:

    Mr. DeWayne was such a great person and an inspiration. He will be missed!

  • Bishop Peggy A. Johnson:

    On behalf of the Peninsula-Delaware Conference of The United Methodist Church, we send our sincerest condolences to the Whittington family. May God’s comfort and strength surround you and may the promise of eternal life sustain you.

  • Wow!!! What a friend DeWayne was!!!. Always available to talk and share our feelings .He was a very unique and
    caring person,and he was able to make a tremendous difference in the lives of those around him.

    I appreciated his hearty laugh and his willingness to listen as a caring friend. We will miss him very much.

    Bill Ecker

    • Wow!!! What a friend DeWayne was!!!. Always available to talk and share our feelings .He was a very unique and
      caring person, He able to make a tremendous difference in the lives of those around him.

      I appreciated his hearty laugh.

  • Alfreda Bryant:


  • Carroll Hall:

    Louise and Family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during these most difficult of times. May God bless and keep you.
    Cubby and Dee

  • Linda Skidmore:

    My sympathies to the entire Whittington family and the many persons whose lives were enriched both directly and indirectly by the goodness of DeWayne. So many of us, even if we hadn’t spoken with him for 30 years, will miss him, especially all that he did for the children of Somerset County.

  • Thomas L. Byrd Jr.:

    Sis Louise:
    I will always remember Dr. Whittington as a great influence on my life during my high school years. He was more than
    a teacher and coach to me, he was my friend. It was always a joy to me whenever I had an opportunity to visit with him.
    There are no words to express the sadness I felt when I learned of his passing. Until I see you again, may you be
    comforted by these words. “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 2 Cor. 5:1. May he find eternal rest in his heavenly home.

    With deepest condolences,

    Thomas and Connie Byrd (Oklahoma City, Ok.)

  • Cheryll Collier-Mills:

    My heart grieves for the loss of this iconic legend and great man of God. After giving me the opportunity to teach in the Somerset County Public school system, Dr. Whittington continued to inspire, motivate and encourage me throughout my tenure and subsequent career in higher education. This family man and gentle giant remained humble throughout his life in spite of all the awards, honors and accolades bestowed upon him. He remained faithful and dedicated to the cause despite trials, tribulations and adversities that came his way. Dr. Whittington truly led by example and the life he lived has impacted so many lives. Mrs. Whittington and family, continue to be encouraged and trust God.


  • Sharon Clark:

    DeWayne and I worked together for many years as teacher educators, on many projects, but mainly as Directors of Field Experience at our respective universities–he at UMES and I at SU. This means that we traveled to meetings all over Maryland. Anyone who must spend 3 hours to and 3 hours from a meeting in a car with someone, and still remain friends, can understand how special I considered my professional relationship with him to be.

    He worked hard; he cared about others; he lifted up the special qualities he saw in people. That’s an “educator!”

  • Jean Hill:

    To the Whittington Family,

    Our heartfelt sympathy to you at this time. May it be of comfort to know that Dr. Whittington fulfilled his purpose here on this earth and left a legacy that will not be forgotten.

    “He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.” Isaiah 57:2

    Jean Hill & Family
    First Baptist Church of Swedesboro (NJ)

  • Ruth A. Jones:

    November 30, 2012 at 7:30pm

    Dr. Whittington was a true professional. We have truly lost a professional and a friend. My sympathy goes out to the entire Whittington family. Always hold on to the memories of your loved one. This will help to ease some of the pain that your are experiencing now.

    In Sympathy and Prayer
    Ruth A. Jones

  • S. Diane Gil:

    To Louise and the entire Whittington family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time. Dr. Whittington will be long remembered and sorely missed.

    From the Nickens family,
    Diane Gil, Donal Gene Gundy, Brian Nickens, Joyce Hamlin, Willie Mae Childress and Zane Roberts

  • Mac Sterling:

    It is with deep regret that I add these comments of sympathy and sorrow for a man that had a tremendous influence in my lifetime. As a coach, teacher and mentor he inspired ,motivated and helped develop my high school athletic skills to their fullest extent by his calm demeanor and compassionate teaching skills.. He can be characterized as having an outgoing concern for others, a controlled temperament and he would always greet you with kind words. He had a gift for bringing out the best from within you and making you feel special. He will be sorely missed, but will always be in my thoughts and memory.

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