Obituary of David Barnard Whitehill
It is with great sorrow that the Whitehill family announces the passing of David Barnard Whitehill, on July 20th, 2023, in Afton, Oklahoma.
Born June 3, 1945, to Benjamin Whitehill and Ann (Barnard) Whitehill of Tulsa, David attended The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey but most loved the memories he made cowboying in the summers at the family's Chapman-Barnard Ranch of Pawhuska (now the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve). He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1967 along with a Diplome Francaise he received assisting with archaeological excavation in Lyon, France, before doing graduate studies at Georgetown University. He then moved to San Diego to become a Hospital Corpsman of the United States Navy in 1969 before returning to his hometown of Tulsa to earn his Juris Doctorate at the University of Tulsa in 1974.
As an attorney, David specialized in Oil and Gas law, acting as General Counsel for the William K. Warren Foundation for many years as well as teaching as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa.
David approached the world with great curiosity, whether in studies of its history, explorations of its wonders, or in conversations with its people. He adored travel and made friends wherever he went because he took a genuine interest in those around him and charmed others with his famous wit and one-liners. He was an avid golfer and motorcycle enthusiast as well as a triathlete and marathoner, having run the Boston Marathon and Pikes Peak Marathon among many others. He also enjoyed working as a golf mentor for the Special Olympics. Of all his achievements, however, he was most proud of his family, his five children with Christiane Seger (married 1970-1988) and nine grandchildren, of whom he would brag to others often and who will miss "Papa Dose" terribly.
David is preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin Franklin Whitehill II and Ann Barnard Whitehill, as well as two brothers, Benjamin Whitehill III and Philip Whitehill. He is survived by his children: Nora (Jason Percy) of Tulsa; Ann (Charles Kohler) of Oak Park, IL; Daniel of Los Angeles; Howard (Kay) of Skiatook; and Jessica (Vincent Karam) of McKinney, TX; as well as his grandchildren: Jordan, Jacob (fiancée Ali Bavasso), and Eleanor Percy; Zachary David and Andrew Kohler; Emma and Evan Whitehill; and Victoria and Benjamin Karam. David also leaves behind sisters Missy Whitehill (Gary DeCosse) and Lisa Whitehill (David Mahoney) as well as nieces and nephew Lili Shaughnessy and Claire and Nicholas Mahoney, cousins Keenan Barnard and Richie Lawrence, lifelong friends Thad and Ellen Moore, and many friends and honorary grandkids who loved him. He will be missed by many, as well as by his faithful companion Ragnar the German Shepherd.
He was, and will always be remembered as, a gentleman and a scholar.
A private ceremony will be held in the fall, but the family wishes to thank all who send their prayers and condolences. Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve to protect the beauty and history of Oklahoma by calling Director of Philanthropy Barry Maxwell at 918-639-6129 or by sending a check payable to The Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma (memo: David B. Whitehill Memorial Fund) to Barry Maxwell, 10425 S 82nd E Avenue Suite 104, Tulsa, OK 74133.