Ross Elmore Whittenburg
Ross Elmore Whittenburg
  • September 7, 1920 - June 10, 2017
  • Concord, New Hampshire

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Concord, NH 03301
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Dr. Ross Elmore Whittenburg was born on September 7, 1920 in a farmhouse in Niangua, Missouri.  He was part of a large family in this small Missouri town, which included eight Whittenburg brothers in his father's generation and eight Elmore sisters in his mother's generation. There were a number of marriages between the families.  When Ross was six, his family, which included an older brother Henry and a younger sister Margaret, moved to McAllen, Texas, seeking better economic opportunities. Ross spent the rest of his childhood in Texas while enjoying summers back in Missouri with the extended family.  Ross graduated Phi Beta Kappa (apparently the youngest ever at that time) from the University of Texas at Austin in 1940, at the age of 19. He immediately started medical school at the Medical Branch of University of Texas in Galveston from which he graduated in 1943. He then had a one-year rotation at the Philadelphia General Hospital before joining the U.S. Army Medical Corps in 1944. He was a Commander of a Medical Collecting Company in the 69th Division and served in the European and Pacific Theaters of World War II. After an honorable discharge in 1946, Ross received post graduate training at Harvard Medical School followed by a fellowship in medicine at the Lahey Clinic in Boston.  He then returned to Texas to start his own medical practice in Fort Worth in 1949.  Ross loved to ski, and on a ski trip to Aspen, Colorado, he met Barbara Barrows of Chestnut Hill, MA, who became the love of his life.  They married soon after and returned to Fort Worth, where three of Ross's four sons were born.  In 1958 the family moved to Concord, NH, where Dr. Whittenburg set up a private practice of Internal Medicine, eventually moving to an office on Pleasant St. The family moved from School Street in town to a farmhouse on Stickney Hill Road after four years, where Ross particularly enjoyed yardwork and gardening. For 30 years Dr. Whittenburg served patients in the Concord area, making housecalls, visiting nursing homes, and attending to patients at Concord and Franklin Hospitals. He was one of two attending physicians at Havenwood nursing home during this time. Ross and Barbara enjoyed traveling, skiing, hiking, tennis, and spending time with friends and extended families in New England and Texas. From the family second home in Franconia, Ross climbed all but a few of the 4000 footers in New Hampshire and skied Cannon Mountain until his late eighties.  After living independently at Heritage Heights until just two weeks before his demise, Ross passed away peacefully at the age of 96 on Saturday, June 10, at the Havenwood facility. He leaves behind his sister, Margaret Colley of Houston, TX; four sons and three daughters-in-law--Kent and Becky Wittenburg of Charlestown, MA; Ben and Susan Whittenburg of Roxbury, NY; Tony Whittenburg of Reno, NV; and Ted and Amy Whittenburg of South Hamilton, MA.  He also leaves behind four grandchildren, Ross and Natalie Wittenburg and Zak and Kayli Whittenburg, along with 20 nieces and nephews and their extended families. His dear wife Barbara predeceased him in 2011.

All who knew him--family, friends, patients, and colleagues--appreciated Ross's outstanding dignity, integrity, humor, and kindness toward his fellow man.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday July 12 at 11:00am at St. Paul's Church in Concord, NH, followed by a reception.  The burial of his ashes, along with the ashes of his wife Barbara Barrows Whittenburg, will be held thereafter at Elmwood Cemetery in Franconia, NH. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Dr. Ross Whittenburg's memory are encouraged to make a donation to the 2018 Private Room Fund of Havenwood Heritage Heights.  Checks may be made out to Havenwood-Heritage Heights, c/o 2018 Private Room Fund, and sent to Havenwood-Heritage Heights, 33 Christian Ave, Concord, NH 03301, attn. President/CEO, with a note that you are donating in honor of Dr. Ross Whittenburg.