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Welcome to the memorial page for

Robert Whitmore

February 22, 1938 ~ July 3, 2017 (age 79)

Robert Edward Whitmore, 79, died July 3, 2017, at St. Vincent’s Hospice of complications from bladder cancer.  Born at home near Nutwood, Ohio, on February 22, 1938, Robert attended Butler University after graduating from Ben Davis High School in 1956.  He completed his bachelor’s degree in art education  at John Herron School of Art/IUPUI and a master’s degree in art at Indiana University Bloomington.  Prior to completing college, Mr. Whitmore worked as a brick mason.  After earning his teacher certification, Robert taught art at George Washington High School in Indianapolis from 1969 until 1996, eventually serving as chairman of the Art Department until the school’s closing.  He taught for one semester at Manual High School before retiring in 1997. 

During his years as an educator, Robert continued to create works of art, first as a ceramicist whose pottery was sold through the gift shop at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and later as a painter of watercolor landscapes.  After moving to Parke County, Indiana, in 1993, Robert joined the Covered Bridge Art Association, exhibiting his work in The Gallery in Rockville, IN, as well as numerous art shows in the Wabash Valley area.  

An avid gardener, Robert became an active leader in the Indianapolis Hosta Society, serving several years as its representative to the Great Lakes Region Board of the American Hosta Society.  In that role he helped establish and expand a yearly conference for Midwest gardeners called Hosta College.  This annual event continues to this day in Piqua, Ohio, each spring.  Not only did he become an “expert” hosta gardener, he established a shade plant nursery called Dogwood Farm at his Parke County home.  The nursery featured display gardens that drew visitors and garden groups from Indiana and surrounding states.  In 1997 Robert and his Dogwood Farm gardens were featured in a front-page article of the Terre Haute Tribune Starand later in a 2004 book by Betty Earl entitled IN SEARCH OF GREAT PLANTS.

As a hosta grower, Robert coordinated the sales area for the 1997 and 2007 national conventions of the American Hosta Society hosted in Indianapolis during those years.

Robert also served as Scoutmaster for Troop 510 of the Boy Scouts of America for several years and took members of the troop to the famed Philmont Scout Camp in New Mexico twice.  

Mr. Whitmore is survived by his wife of 57 years, Rebecca (Brown) Whitmore; his two sons, Steven Michael of Ramona CA and David Lee of Plano TX.; his granddaughter Erin Nicole Williams; two grandsons, Jonathan Evans Whitmore and Andrew David Whitmore; one brother Kim R. Whitmore of Avon IN and two sisters, Patricia Wilhoite of Westfield and Marjorie Allman of Indianapolis.

A memorial to Robert will be held at the Mann-Turmancemetery near Graysville, Indiana, in early fall.


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