Dr. Rodgers Whittington was born on October 5, 1933, in Clarksdale Mississippi to Reverend George Whittington and Waltee Whittington. He lived in Mississippi until the age of 4, when his parents moved to the Westside of Chicago, Illinois. Thereafter, he moved to Hyde Park/Kenwood where he spent most of his years in Chicago. He attended Chicago Public Schools: elementary, junior high school and graduated from Dunbar High School. After retiring he became a snow bird spending half of the year in Florida and the other half in Chicago. In 2009, he moved to Opelika, Alabama, to spend more time with his only grandchild Renee Rose during her formative years.
Dr. Rodgers Whittington retiring in 1998, as a Medical Doctor, was Board Certified in Rehabilitation Medicine. He was a pioneer in Rehabilitation Medicine, who championed sidewalk accessibility for the disabled. He lectured nationwide on sidewalk accessibility at medical conventions, conferences, community meetings and legislative bodies. His compassion and hard work enabled wheel chair users to access sidewalks so they could move around with ease and safety to go places where they otherwise could not have gone.
Dr. Whittington graduated from Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Kentucky, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education, in May of 1955. He then, attended Northwestern University School of Physical Therapy (Sept ’55 – Oct ’56), Chicago, Illinois. He continued on to earn his Medical Degree at Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, from September 1969 to June 1973. He completed his Medical Internship at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, from July 1, 1973 to July 1974. And he continued on to complete his Medical Residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, from August 19, 1974 to August 19, 1977. Dr. Whittington held medical licenses in Illinois, Florida, Indiana, and California.
Dr. Whittington served as the Chief Physical Therapist, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, from 1959 to 1965 and later as an Attending Physician also at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, in 1977 to 1998; served as a Physical Therapist on Home-Care Committee and Consulting Physician in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation in 1978 to retirement at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Chicago; and Chief Physical Therapist, 1965 to 1968, at Monticello Convalescent Center, Oak Lawn, Illinois. He worked with Project R.G. 6137 from 1960 to 1961, developing methods of rehabilitating the Aged to go from nursing homes to a restored active community life.
Dr. Whittington’s teaching experience in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation was vast: he taught Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medical Residents at hospitals where he was on staff; taught Medical students at the University of Illinois, Chicago Medical School and other medical students in the Chicago land area; taught foreign trained German students in preparation for the National APTA Examination for 5 years; and taught Vocational Counselors and Rehabilitation Nurses.
Dr. Whittington held memberships in the Illinois Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Medical Association, Flying Physician Association, Chicago Medical Society, American College of General Practitioners, American Osteopathic Association, American Academy of Osteopathy, Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California, American Osteopathic College of Rehabilitation Medicine, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine Alumni Association, Illinois Association of Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons, and National Association of Residents & Interns.
LTC (RET) Rodgers Whittington was most proud of his 31 years of service in the United States Army: Active duty January 15, 1957 to January 14, 1959. During active duty he served as a Physical Therapist at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. He was discharged with honors as a 2nd Lt. LTC (RET) Whittington served in the U.S. Army Reserve during the time of the Vietnam and Gulf Wars. He served as the Chief Physical Therapist in the U.S. Army Reserve for over 22 years. In 1993 LTC Rodgers Whittington retired from the U.S. Army Reserve after 31 years of service.
Dr. Whittington had a few hobbies that he was passionate about. One of his greatest passion was flying his private Bonanza Beach Craft Single Engine Airplane and hooking up with his Tuskegee Airman friends Dr. Edward Bryant, Horace Noble, Marshall F. Knox (2017 Inductee in the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame), Gen. Frank Bacon, to name a few. He was a proficient instrument rated pilot who logged thousands of flight hours in his flight log book. He enjoyed flying from Gary Municipal Airport where he hung his airplane to another city for breakfast. His dream job was to fly commercial airplanes. He was a world class traveler who went from country to country United Kingdom, France, Italy, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, and Canada. He favored warm climates like the Caribbean and Hawaii. Other hobbies were fishing, camping, music especially jazz, studying Spanish and hunting. He cherished spending time with his family. He was not afraid to say “I love you” often. He faced adversity with stubborn optimism.
He leaves his sons Rodgers Whittington, Jr., Engineer, Wichita, KS (Kyoko Whittington, wife) and Dr. Richard Whittington, Opelika, AL (Dr. Roslyn Whittington, wife) and his granddaughter Renee Rose Whittington; two sisters both of Chicago, Gloria Whittington Gibson and Elmira Whittington and a hosts of nieces, nephews, cousins; and his beloved brothers in the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
Dr. Rodgers Whittington: A life well lived. Through it all he always kept the Lord in his heart.
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