Peter "Whit" R. Whitmore
May 17, 1940 – February 20, 2018
NAPLES, Fla. — Peter Whitmore, 77, passed away peacefully Tuesday, Feb. 20, at Avow Hospice House in Naples, as a result of complications from a stroke.
He was born in Lewiston on May 17, 1940, the son of Oscar and Ethel Whitmore. He was raised in Auburn and was a graduate of Edward Little in 1958. After graduating, he enlisted in the Air Force in 1958 and served his country overseas.
On Oct, 3, 1959, he married his sweetheart, Connie (Swift), at St. Joseph’s Church in Lewiston.
In his younger days he worked many jobs at Brookdale Farm and the Lewiston Sun-Journal. After leaving the military he worked for Morin Brickyard before starting his career in the insurance industry. He began with The Concord Group in the claims department for many years before going to work on the agency side with Edwards Insurance Agency in 1969.
In 1973, he purchased the agency and so began the Whitmore Insurance Agency. As the business grew he expanded to Norway and purchased the David Klain Agency, which he maintained in the old bank building on Main Street until his retirement in 1997.
Outside of work, Pete was very active with many organizations, as well as his political endeavors. He started on the Auburn City Council in 1973 until 1978, when he was elected mayor of Auburn. He remained mayor until 1983. He later went on to hold two terms as the Maine state senator from the Auburn area. In 1987, he was awarded the Auburn Business Association’s Citizen of the Year, which he humbly accepted.
Even after retiring from politics he maintained a role advising many officeholders in town, and until his death was constantly following the activities in town and offering his advice, whether asked for it or not.
Following in his father’s footsteps, he became active in the United Commercial Travelers fraternal benefit society. Over the years he worked through the ranks and held many positions at the local, regional and the international level. In 1994 to 1996 he had the privilege of being elected as international president and chairman.
He and Connie were able to travel throughout the U.S. and Canada to greet and spread the mission of UCT with its members. They had the honor of meeting a great group of people who they became friends with and still celebrate that friendship today.
UCT played a great role in his life from the very beginning with social dances, camping trips, fundraisers and all-around good times. His mentor in UCT honored him by selecting him as his first board member of the Chris Antonelli Scholorship Fund, which assists those to improve care, rehabilitation and education of mentally challenged children and adults, a role he took with pride.
Throughout his career he also held positions on many boards of directors, including the Lewiston-Auburn Chamber of Commerce, First Federal Savings, president and charter member of the Auburn Business Association, director on Central Maine Health Care and Medical Center, president of Royal Palm Country Club and 37 years as director on Patrons Oxford Insurance Board.
After his retirement in 1997, he moved to Florida and gave up his days of hunting through blizzards, snowmobiling around Auburn, camping and many trips in the motor home. When he was younger, he would also take time on a certain eve to dress up and pass by many houses, spreading cheer and giving kids hope for the following morning. A few times it was done by snowmobile, as the storms were too bad to reach them by car.
He was known by many as Pete, Whit, Big guy, but we were proud to call him Dad. He was a man who taught us right and wrong, hard work, ethics and family. As busy as he was, he always found time for the family.
He is survived by his lovely wife of 58 years, Connie; daughter, Joanne Searles, (Whitmore) and her husband, Raymond, of Limerick, Pa.; son, Jim Whitmore, and his wife, Carrie (Gelo), of Auburn; four grandchildren, Matt and Melissa Searles, Abby and Alyssa Whitmore; brother-in-law, Robert Swift, and his wife, Ann. He also leaves several nieces and nephews, Catherine Provost, Jennifer Feely (Swift), Randall Swift, Lisa Provost, Amy Parker (Swift), Thomas Swift and Charles Swift; as well as 10 grandnieces and grandnephews.
He was predeceased by his parents, Oscar and Ethel Whitmore, and a sister, Cynthia Provost (Whitmore).
The family would like to express their thanks for the care and compassion provided by the team at NCH ICU and Neuro, and the staff at AVOW for all they did. Online condolences at: www.thefortingroupauburn.com
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Philip's Church 2365 Turner Rd. Auburn, ME Friday June 15th at 11:00 am. Burial Mount Auburn Cemetery. The celebration of Peter's life will continue from 1:00 to 5:00 pm at Martindale Country Club 527 Beech Hill Rd. Auburn ME. A service of The Fortin Group Plummer & Merrill Funeral Home 217 Turner Street, Auburn, Maine 04210
- Pete is survived by his lovely wife of 58 years, Connie; daughter, Joanne Searles, (Whitmore) and her husband, Raymond, of Limerick, Pa.; son, Jim Whitmore, and his wife, Carrie (Gelo), of Auburn; four grandchildren, Matt and Melissa Searles, Abby and Alyssa Whitmore; brother-in-law, Robert Swift, and his wife, Ann. He also leaves several nieces and nephews, Catherine Provost, Jennifer Feely (Swift), Randall Swift, Lisa Provost, Amy Parker (Swift), Thomas Swift and Charles Swift; as well as 10 grandnieces and grandnephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Oscar and Ethel Whitmore, and a sister, Cynthia Provost (Whitmore).
- A Mass of Christian Burial Friday, June 15, 2018
- Celebration of Life Friday, June 15, 2018
Peter "Whit" R. Whitmore
June 11, 2018
I was very saddened to learn of Peter's passing. He was a wonderful man with an admirable commitment to community service. I had the honor of serving with Peter in the State Senate and admired his wit, wisdom, graciousness and genuine concern for his community and the constituents he served. We were all fortunate to have known this kind man and my thoughts and prayers are with his family in this sad time.