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In memoriam
December 11, 2022

Dr. Charles Dennis Whitty

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It is with heavy hearts that we announce the sudden passing of Dr. Charles Dennis Whitty on Dec. 11, 2022.

Dennis is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Lorna; his children, Patrick (Theresa), Chris (Suzy), Brett, Carolyn (Ted), and Sharon (Jurek); his brother Ray Whitty (late Fay Whitty) and sister Janet Bishop (late Tom Bishop). He is predeceased by his parents, Charles Rodger Whitty and Charlotte Whitty (nee Welstead), and aunt Jean Whitty. He will be greatly missed by his grandchildren, Nick, Erin, Shannon (Whitty); Erika (Whitty); Evelyn, Amelia, Sebastian (Whitty); Midori, Ronin (Chun); Ruth and Arthur (Whitty-Smolen); nieces and nephews; uncle Joe Whitty; and cousins.

He also leaves behind his devoted office staff, Kelly, Lauren and Sheila; former staff and work family, Stephanie, Gerry, Joan, Helene and Sandi; and his many colleagues and friends in the medical community.

Dennis grew up in St. Catharines, Ont., on a farm with his parents and two siblings. Although not having chosen farming as his profession, he was a typical farmer through and through. He believed in getting up with the sun (or before) and enjoyed farming his land on the weekends.

He graduated from St. Catharines Collegiate Institute, where he met Lorna (nee Hardinge), although their love story began later. He attended the Ontario Agricultural College of the University of Toronto (now the University of Guelph) and was a proud aggie. He obtained a master of science in plant biochemistry at the University of Guelph, and a PhD in plant physiology and biochemistry at Purdue University in Indiana.

Between graduate studies, he briefly worked in plant research at the Vineland Research & Innovation Centre. And on completion of his PhD, was hired as a research fellow in the department of biochemistry at McMaster University. His published (1970s) work in the field of plant biochemistry continues to be cited, including in recent textbooks, a fact he was quite proud to learn (via Google) later in his life.

Never tiring of education, he went on to pursue the study of medicine at the University of Toronto, where he found his true calling. After graduation, he worked in the emergency department at the Welland County General Hospital, and in 1980, began his own practice on Carlton Street in St. Catharines. He also served as chief of staff at the Hotel Dieu Hospital.

Over the years, he cared for many members of the community, devoting himself to his patients. His tireless work ethic saw him delivering babies well into his 70s. He was known to habitually work weekends, often doing home visits, and was on call 24/7 for his patients. He spent his last day working for the care of others.

When Dennis wasn't working, he enjoyed flying with destinations such as Miami, Edmonton and Wawa, Ont. He also enjoyed photography, reading, skiing, scuba diving, windsurfing, tree planting, beekeeping and fishing. He took on many construction projects involving carpentry, concrete work and plumbing. In his later years, he enjoyed travelling the world with Lorna, spending time with his family, watching baseball and engaging in wildlife conservation.

He is loved and will be greatly missed by his family, and his many patients (many of whom he delivered).

A celebration of life will take place in the New Year. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada or The Hotel Dieu Shaver Hospital would be appreciated.

Memories, condolences and tributes can be shared online.