Friday, February 3, 2012

In Memoriam: Kenneth E Whitlock, Sr.

As an officer with the Daniel B. Matthew Historical Society, Ken Whitlock's vision and initial research was crucial towards documenting the history of African Americans from Greater Pittsburgh that served as Tuskegee Airmen.  To date, 87 men and one woman from the region have been identified as having served with the Tuskegee Airmen.  In honor of these citizens, a Tuskegee Airmen Memorial is in the process of being erected in the Sewickley Cemetery.

Historians note that the group Mr. Whitlock helped to identify makes up the largest contingency of Airmen from any specific geographic area.  His scholarship has been instrumental in addressing the ongoing question, Why did so many Tuskegee Airmen hail from the Greater Pittsburgh area?   This year, The Tuskegee Airmen of Pittsburgh Oral History Project, a joint venture between The Tuskegee Airmen Memorial of Greater Pittsburgh and The Social Voice Project, will seek answers to this question as it interviews the surviving Airmen from the area. 

Mr. Whitlock also authored "Breaking Barriers,"  which detailed the racism he encountered in America after he returned from WW II after serving in the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Whitlock was a member of St. Matthews A.M.E. Zion Church of Sewickley, PA, American Legion Post 450 in Sewickley, and the Senior Mens Club of the Sewickley YMCA.

At age 91, Mr. Whitlock died peacefully on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 in McCandless Twp.  he is survived by his wife Melusena Whitlock, and children Linda Whitlock of MA, Kenneth E. Whitlock, Jr. (Barbara) of MA, and Renee Chargois (Edward) of CA.  He is also survived by his sister Marion Whitlock-Jones of Washington, DC and a niece Cliftine Jones of Washington, DC. He is also survived by a host of other relatives and friends.

A memorial service for Mr. Whitlock will be held this summer.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the "Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Project", PO Box 183, Sewickley, PA 15143.

See also the Post-Gazette.