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11 Don Whitehead

Don Whitehead
Hometown (Last School)
Evansville, IN (Bosse)
October 3, 1925

Don Whitehead was born Donald Lee Whitehead on October 3, 1925, in Evansville, Indiana to Gladys Vesta Barton Whitehead and Clifford Aleon Whitehead.

Whitehead was a graduate of Bosse High School where he excelled in baseball, track, swimming, and basketball.  On February 5, 1942, he scored all but 5 of Bosse’s points in a win over rival Reitz.  He was also an Eagle Scout. 

Whitehead attended the University of Kentucky his freshman year where he played basketball for Adolph Rupp in 1943-44. Whitehead was a starter at forward for Rupp at Kentucky, where he was in Navy training as part of the Navy V-5 program which trained civilian and enlisted candidates as aviation cadets.  He played in 12 games and averaged 3.5 points per game before being called to military service.  On December 13, 1943, he led Kentucky with 14 points in a win over Ohio State.  On January 19, 1944, Whitehead reported to St. Louis for induction as a member of the V-5 unit in the Navy.  Coach Adolph Rupp said: “Whitehead is very fast—in fact, he doubtless is the fastest man on our squad—and he has an uncanny ability to sink shots when they count the most.  I consider Don Whitehead one of the best basketball players ever developed at the University of Kentucky.”  He then attended Bowling Green State University where in 1945 he played in the NIT and was the leading scorer. He then attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and after service, enrolled in Evansville College and played basketball for Arad McCutchen then he graduated from the Indiana University School of Dentistry.

Whitehead retired as an oral surgeon and practiced for over 38 years. He started practice with Dr. Frank O’Halloran and later joined Dr. Edward Pffalin and Dr. Richard Henry. He was a member of the Indiana Dental Association, Indiana Society of Oral Surgeons, American Society of Oral Surgeons, First District Dental Association, and past president of the Indiana Oral Surgery Society.

Dr. Donald L. Whitehead died Friday, October 16, 2009, at St. Mary’s Warrick County Hospital in Evansville, Indiana. He was 84.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Patricia, son Mark D. Whitehead and his wife Karen of Evansville, daughters Diane Whitehead and Suzanne Draper and her husband Chris of Evansville, grandchildren Sarah and Laura Whitehead, and Jackson Draper, sisters Virginia Million of Phoenix, AZ, and Patricia Miller and her husband Gale of Evansville, brother Gene Whitehead and his wife Gail of Evansville, and nieces and nephews.

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