In Memoriam: Frank M. Whiting
Frank M. Whiting, professor emeritus of animal science and former adviser in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, died on Nov. 26 after complications from a fall. He was 84.
Whiting, a Tucson native, earned a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and a doctorate from the UA. He worked for United Dairymen of Arizona testing milk and delivering supplies to dairy farms across Southern Arizona before joining the CALS faculty in 1965. He remained there until he retired in 1998.
When Whiting wasn't on campus, he spent much of his time working on ranches throughout Southern Arizona. He also loved spending time with his family.
"He was a great guy who was loved by all," said Linda Bylina, one of Whiting's daughters and an executive assistant in the UA Office of University Communications. "He loved his family, and he never missed an opportunity to express how grateful he was to have his family."
Seneca Nunn, one of Whiting's former students, called him one of her "favorite humans" when she shared memories at his memorial on Dec. 2. In her remarks, Nunn said Whiting served as a guide to everyone he interacted with, including students and colleagues.
As an adviser, she said, he was known for being patient and welcoming to all students, even those who didn't grow up on a ranch or around the cattle industry.
"He encouraged us and built our confidence," Nunn said at the memorial. "If we messed up, he showed us how to fix it and pushed us to try again."
During Whiting's time at the UA, students selected him to receive the CALS A+ Advisor Award, which recognizes faculty or staff "who have done a particularly meritorious job of advising students." He also received the college's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Even outside the classroom or advising hours, Nunn said, Whiting made an impact on his students. She recalled Whiting taking groups of students on field trips to the UA's V Bar V Ranch near Flagstaff for hands-on lessons. She also remembered Whiting's stories.
"Everyone wanted to visit with him and many of us skipped class – numerous times – just to finish a story or hear a teaching moment," Nunn said in her remarks.
She added that an appointment with Whiting required a wait in line behind many other students.
"I was like a sponge when he spoke," she said, "just like many others."
Whiting is survived by his wife, Pat; two daughters, Bylina and Jamie Holehan; five grandchildren, Sterling, Megan and Ian Holehan and Lea and Andrea Bylina; a sister, Shirley Schiever, and brother, Bill Whiting.
Donations in Whiting's memory can be made to the CALS Animal Science Scholarship Fund, c/o University of Arizona CALS, Forbes Building, Room 325, P.O. Box 325, Tucson, AZ 85721, or Trinity Presbyterian Church, 400 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85705.