Dennis Christopher WhittleDennis Christopher Whittle, of Ithaca, NY, age 86 died on December 28, 2014 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. Whittle was the son of the late Rt. Reverend Dennis Christopher (Maude Pettingale) Whittle of Alexandria, VA.

Although nationally recognized as a leader in the field of advertising, and public relations, Mr. Whittle was best known locally as an antiques dealer and owner of The Collection Antiques where he had stores at various times in Covert and Trumansburg. This was his retirement business, which he owned with his wife, Pat, for nearly 40 years. As an avid student of social history, Mr. Whittle became a specialist in pre-1820 antiques, especially 18th century artifacts.

The Whittles moved to Ithaca in 1975 with six of their seven children: Peter, Lauren, Sean, Linda, Sara and Tom. When Mr. Whittle was asked to join Cornell University as Director of Media Services, he combined various communications operations in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Human Ecology and Cooperative Extension, into an 83-person communications service. He headed the department for 10 years until he switched to teaching for 10 additional years. Mr. Whittle's leading course in Public Relations and Advertising attracted more than 300 students each semester. He also developed an internship program, which helped to place many students in jobs.

Prior to coming to Cornell, Mr. Whittle was the Director of Communications for the American Bar Association, (ABA) in Chicago and head of the ABA Press which published 34 professional journals. He was the legal profession's chief press spokesman during the Watergate years and served as communications advisor to the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Warren E. Burger.

Before joining ABA, Mr. Whittle was manager of Corporate Advertising and Public Relations for Marathon Oil Company. Prior to Marathon, he worked in New York City with N.W. Ayer Advertising and Public Relations agency in charge of sales promotion for its client, AT&T. Previously he was the Northeastern Sales Coordinator for Ford Motor Company.

He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University at age 19 with two majors, Journalism and Education. He then enrolled at Boston University’s School of Communications where he finished his course work in one year.

Mr. Whittle then headed for Germany in 1951 where he worked for three years as Assistant Public Information Officer, Headquarters for the US Army in Europe, in Heidelberg, Germany. During this time, he served as Chief Public Information Officer and head Historian for Army Ordnance Corps in Europe.

On his way to Germany, he met his future wife Pat Healy, on board the ship. Their shipboard romance led to marriage in Heidelberg, Germany where they both worked as Army civilian employees. They traveled extensively throughout Europe before returning to the US with their first of seven children, Candace Fraser who lives with her family in the Chicago area.

Mr. Whittle was among the first 100 public relations practitioners in the US to become accredited through examination by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). He was instrumental in setting up the accreditation process for public relations professionals. He became a Society Fellow a year later on the basis of his many contributions to the field. Mr. Whittle was awarded the prestigious PRSA's Silver Anvil award for his outstanding lifelong work. He was active on the national level of PRSA and co-founder of the student chapter at Cornell, PRSSA. He was recognized as National Outstanding Professional Advisor as a result of his student leadership. He was president of the Northwestern Ohio chapter and served on the board of directors of both the New York and Chicago chapters.

Mr. Whittle was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia Healy Whittle in 2011. He is survived by his sister Virginia (Wnedy) Whittle Hoge of Alexandria; seven children, Candace (Jim) Fraser of Clarendon Hills, IL, Peter (Lucienne Aubert) Whittle of St. David’s, PA, Lauren Whittle of San Carlos, CA, Sean (Eileen Lowry) Whittle of Manchester, NH, Linda Whittle of Boston, MA, Sara Whittle of Ithaca, NY and Tom (Jodie Lee Stearns) Whittle also of Ithaca; fondly referred to as his 'eighth' child, Claud Young of Seville, Spain; six grandchildren, Dan (Moriah Brooks) Fraser, Shannon Fraser, Molly Whittle, Christopher Whittle, Kelsey Stearns and Dylan Whittle; and two great grandchildren Liam Fraser and Angus Fraser, sons of Dan and Moriah Fraser; and nieces Dr. Hilary Hoge and her son Nick Hoge of Milton, MA, and Leslie Egerton Hoge of Reston, VA.

In keeping with his wishes, there will be no funeral or visiting hours. His remains will be divided and interred both with his wife at St. James Cemetery in Trumansburg and with his family in Cismont-Keswick, Virginia where his father was parish rector for many years.

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to University of Rochester Medicine, Neurology-Office of Gift and Donor Records, P.O. Box 270441, Rochester, NY 14627.