Biography Dick WhittingtonMembership Number: 8804
Richard Odell (Dick) Whittington joined the NCRS on July 1, 1985 as member 8804. Corvettes he has owned include two 1961s, 1964, ’66, ’69 (L88) and a ’74. Reba’s Kermit, a ’72, is still a member of the Whittington household. He was a 400 level judge with a Red Hat, earned with the Duntov Award for his 1969. He was a prolific poster on the NCRS Technical Discussion Board with 10,470 posts to his credit! Dick was also a moderator on the TDB.
At the NCRS National level, he was the Region 4 Director from 1993 through 1996 and 2005 through 2010, 1968-69 team leader from 1994 to 1999 and chairman of the Publications Committee from 2005 through 2010. Dick was named NCRS Member of the Year in 1997. With John Pirkle, Sr., he co-chaired the 2000 convention in Bowling Green. He was a founding member of the Carolinas Chapter and stepped up as chapter chairman in 2013.
Papa Smurf, as he was known to many NCRS members, was a constant presence at chapter events offering knowledge, advice, and encouragement to Carolinas Chapter members. He would also share his opinions on a wide range of subjects. There was never any question as to where Dick stood on anything.
Sadly, Dick passed away Saturday, September 12, 2020, at the age of 74. He is survived by his wife Reba Hawkins Whittington and one sister Susan.
Dickie was fondly remembered by many NCRS members. Some of these recollections are: Jimmy Gregg (past chapter chair): I claim to be the founder of the Carolinas Chapter but without Dickie, it would not exist. I suggested we separate from the Southeast Chapter so we could have meetings and events locally. Dickie could not lead this effort as he was the Regional Rep at that time. He helped me step-by-step get the chapter up and running and as all of you know has been a great supporter of it since day one.
Sometimes we say someone is a great guy just to be nice. In Dickie’s case, all one has to do is read the comments from NCRS members across the USA posted on the NCRS Discussion Board and you can understand that comment is very true, many times over. The one key word that keeps popping up in the comments is MENTOR. Dickie freely shared his knowledge of all things, not just Corvettes, to anyone that would ask. He will be missed by all of us in the hobby.
Terry McManmon (past national team leader): In the way-back time Dick and I used to sub for each other as Team Leaders -- back when we both had real jobs and sometimes couldn’t make it to an event. A great guy. One of the best who gave his all to this organization.
Chuck Berge (1968-72 Team Leader): R.I.P. NCRS has lost a GREAT member. Dickie was a mentor to me and will be missed. God Bless Reba and family.
Loren Lundberg: I think I do understand Dick Whittington.....a combination of personality, knowledge, ability to communicate, and appreciation for the history of the Corvette and its history that deserved to be respected and preserved. Reba, he left nothing to apologize for and he deserves the grateful Thanks of everyone who came after him.
Janet Kennedy (chapter officer and friend): Dickie was a fighter for all things CCNCRS. An honorable and selfless human being, always helping any and every one! He was a quiet and sometimes loud fundraiser for St. Jude. A servant to his community and to every organization he belonged to! Ken Robb (Texas Chapter): Dickie was always such a friend to everyone he met. He truly was one of a kind. May the Lord be of comfort to Reba and the family. I am sure there will be a piece of chocolate cake reserved in his honor at the Lone Star Regional in 2021.
Vinnie Peters (editor of The Restorer and The Driveline): We had fond nicknames for each other, he called me a damn Yankee and I called him a southern belle! I’ll miss my friend and mentor. He was chairman of the Publications Committee when I came on board as Restorer Editor and he always had my back and supported me. He always raved about a local restaruant that served the best chicken & dumplings in the entire state of North Carolina every Wednesday for lunch. One of my fondest memories is when I drove down to surprise him. I planned it with Reba and stopped at the house first as he was down the hill in the shop… got him on the phone and was just chatting as I knocked at the door (which he kept locked when he was alone)…and he said to hang on, he had to answer the door. I had just told him that one Wednesday I’m going to come and have those chicken and dumplings with him. Lo and behold, he opens the door and I’m standing there still talking to him on the phone. He had some choice words for me then! It was one of the most rewarding afternoons and evenings I’ve spent with him and am really glad I did it…just something in me that had to drive 12 hours each way to see my old pal and surprise him. May you rest in peace.
Join Year: 1985
Deceased Date: 09-12-2020
Previous Chapter Affiliations:
Achieved Flight Judging Car Award(s):
1972 Corvette: Flight Judging Award (Top Flight) at CUMBERLAND MD (Chapter) in 1991
1972 Corvette: Flight Judging Award (Second Flight) at ASHEVILLE NC (Chapter) in 1996
1972 Corvette: Founders Award at COLLINSVILLE in 1998
1972 Corvette: Founders Award at San Antonio TX in 2006
Achieved Judging Award(s):
Level 400 Master Judge, Red Hat
Achieved Special Award(s):
Member Of Year (1997)
Flight Judging Points: 400