KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Charles E. Whittle Jr., 81, of Knoxville, Tenn., passed away Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012.
Born in Brownsville, Ky., he was intellectually gifted and graduated from Centre College, Danville, at the age of 18. He went on to receive his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. at age 21. It was there he met his wife, Suzanne Miller.
Chosen as a Fulbright Scholar, he traveled abroad to pursue research in Leiden, The Netherlands. He began his 20-year career as a physics professor first at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green then at his alma mater Centre College, where he became Academic Dean. He then returned to research at Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Tennessee as a senior scientist and Director of the Institute for Energy Analysis. Upon retirement he became a consultant and Academic Dean for Pikeville University in eastern Kentucky.
Always an active Rotarian, especially interested in foreign student exchanges, he was selected District Governor from 1997 to 1998. Throughout his life he pursued his hobby of genealogy, for family was very important to him.
He was preceded in death by one daughter, Jessica, and his parents, Charles Sr. and Lillian Skaggs Whittle.
He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Suzanne Whittle; nine children, Charles E. Whittle III, Jane Dentico, Gayl Magnuson, Tamara Whittle, Thomas Whittle, David Whittle, Jeffrey Whittle, Mary Whittle and Michael Whittle; five brothers, Joseph, Noah, John, James and William (Bob) Whittle; three sisters, Charlene Fields, Elizabeth (Betty) Bilyeu and Anne Whittle; and numerous grandchildren.
A memorial service will be 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, Oak Ridge, Tenn. with a brief reception afterward in the fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to The Rotary Foundation, Rotary # 578116, 14280 Collections Center Dr., Chicago, IL, 60693 or online at www.rotary.org/tributegifts.
Online guestbook at clickfh.com.