Baird Whitlock

Obituary of Baird W. Whitlock

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Former educator Baird W. Whitlock, a long-time resident of Belfast, Maine, died on October 29 after a brief illness, at the age of 99.  Whitlock was born in Highland Park, New Jersey, on June 1, 1924. After attending local schools, he enlisted in the USAAF as a pilot, returning to New Jersey to complete his B.A. at Rutgers University. Upon graduation in 1948, he joined the English Department of Middlebury College, where he also directed the Men’s Glee Club.

In 1951 he enrolled at Edinburgh University in Scotland, and two years later returned to the States with both a Ph.D. and --more importantly--a young British bride named Joan, with whom he had three sons and a daughter: Christopher, Ian, Alison, and Erik.

Over the years he taught in colleges across the country: University of Vermont, Colby College, Case Institute of Technology, San Francisco State College, University of Hawaii, University of Wyoming, Elmira College, Simon’s Rock Early College (now Bard College at Simon’s Rock), and Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.

As president of Simon’s Rock, he introduced the first B.A. program for students entering college after tenth grade. Whitlock’s publications include five books in literature, religion, and education; over 60 articles in scholarly journals; and 95 reviews of books on English Literature, humanities, and foreign films. From 1960 until his death, he led over 40 international tours  in history, art, and architecture.  His wife fondly recalls a performance at Westminster Abbey during a Case Western Men’s Glee Club European tour. As a Bildner Foundation Fellow, he lectured in international schools in Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil.

After his retirement to Belfast, he hosted the city library’s Foreign Film Series, showing more than 400 films over the course of 19 years. He co-founded the Belfast Academic Forum, directed the St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church choir, and taught courses in art history and modern British and American poetry in the Belfast Senior College.

He is survived by his wife Joan, his four children, eight grandchildren (Connor, Natalie, Garret, Tessa, Grace, James (Jake), Zachary, and Martha (Dylan)), and three great grandchildren (Calvin, Carson, and Carter).

A funeral service will be held at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church of Belfast, Maine, on Thursday, December 7, at 11:00 a.m.  In lieu of flowers the family has asked for donations to Hospice Volunteers of Waldo County at HVOWC, PO Box 772, Belfast ME 04915 or

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Baird Whitlock

In Loving Memory

Baird Whitlock

1924 - 2023

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