A. Grant Whitney

A. Grant Whitney

Birth
Lowell, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 12 Apr 1997 (aged 79)
Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 142185936 · View Source
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"Adelbert Grant Whitney was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on July 25, 1917 to A. H. and Julia Sheehan Whitney. Upon graduation from Boston University in 1940, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. During World War II, he served with the First Infantry Division and received the Soldiers Medal for Heroism for saving the life of a fellow infantryman. During this time, he met William Henry Belk Jr., who recruited Whitney into the Charlotte-based Belk Stores Services. Upon relocating to Charlotte in 1946, Whitney immediately began the intensive participation in civic affairs that would continue throughout his life. He joined several local organizations, served as a scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts, staged plays through his church, and put on a yearly ball in connection with Charlotte's Thanksgiving Day parade. The Charlotte Jaycees named Whitney their 1952 Young Man of the Year. In 1954, Charlotte and Mecklenburg County observed the 179th anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence with a visit from President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Whitney organized and planned "Freedom Celebration Day," which attracted tens of thousands of Charlotteans to a picnic lunch with the President at Freedom Park. A decade later, Whitney began his longest-lasting endeavor when the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce asked him to arrange and organize a festival for the arts. This festival, first staged in 1964, became the Festival in the Park. Whitney remained director of the festival until failing health caused him to withdraw in 1992. At that point, his children, Frank and Julie, and their friend, David Dalton, assumed leadership of the annual event. In 1968, representatives of the City of Charlotte, familiar with Whitney's organizational experience, asked him to prepare the bicentennial celebration of the chartering of the city. This event included different activities and themes for each month, and culminated in a visit by and appreciation ceremony for Billy Graham. The success of the 1968 celebration led to Whitney's appointment to organize the local bicentennial celebrations of the American Revolution (1976) and the Mecklenburg Declaration (1975). Events included the "All Nations Festival," comprised of exhibits and food from various national groups in Charlotte, the reenactment of Captain Jack's ride to deliver the Mecklenburg Declaration to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, and a visit to Charlotte by President Gerald Ford in 1975. His efforts prompted The Charlotte News to name Whitney the 1975 Man of the Year. Whitney retired from Belk Stores Services in 1987 as Executive Vice President of Belk Stores Insurance Reciprocal and Archdale Mutual Insurance. He also served in leadership positions in many professional societies, such as the National Association of Independent Insurers. Whitney's association with Belk and with John Belk, in particular, kept him in the city's spotlight for much of his life. He married Lillian DeArmon of Charlotte and they had three children: Julia (Austin), A. Grant Jr., and Frank DeArmon. In 1991, Whitney contracted a neurological disorder, which impaired his health and activities. A. Grant Whitney, Sr. died on April 12, 1996 (actually 1997) in Charlotte and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery."
From: https://specialcollections.uncc.edu/manuscript/ms0243


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  • Created by: John Field Pankow
  • Added: 3 Feb 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial 142185936
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for A. Grant Whitney (25 Jul 1917–12 Apr 1997), Find a Grave Memorial no. 142185936, citing Elmwood Cemetery, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by John Field Pankow (contributor 46637223) .