Friday, December 10, 2010

Donald Whyte

Donald Whyte, long-time resident of Racine, former Vice-President at SC Johnson, founding member of the Racine Curling Club, and recent patent grantee from the U.S. Patent Office, passed away on December 10, 2010, at his home in Racine, of congestive heart failure. He was 92.

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, on January 22, 1918, Mr. Whyte received his undergraduate education at the University of Saskatchewan, and then attended Columbia University in New York City where he obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry.

In 1946 he moved to Racine and joined SC Johnson as a research chemist where he remained until 1983, retiring as Vice-President for International Research and Development. In this last position he traveled extensively to the world-wide subsidiaries of SC Johnson. He was present at the opening in 1952 of the famous Johnson Research Tower designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and had a lab in the building for several years.

He enjoyed tennis, golf and, especially, curling. He was one of the founding members of the Racine Curling Club and participated in local and national curling bonspiels.

In retirement he continued to travel widely. He also undertook consulting work with a small Racine firm doing ferrous metal heat treatments. Together with a partner, Bob Balow, he developed and patented, at age 90, a process to treat ferrous metal cookware to render them rust resistant.

His marriage to Elva Ring in 1943 lasted until her death in 1984. In 1988 he married Beulah Sandway of Moline, IL, who died in 1998.

He is survived by four children, Gordon Whyte of Arlington, VA, Elizabeth Whyte Schulze of Worthington, MA, Leonard Whyte of Austin, TX, and Nancy Whyte of New York, NY; and a step-son, Rick Sandway, of Moline, IL; and five grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, December 18, 2010, at 2 p.m. at Maresh-Meredith Funeral Home, 803 Main St., Racine. Contributions in his memory can be sent to the Racine Zoo or to the Racine Art Museum.

803 Main St., Racine (262) 634-7888

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