John Whitmore, 1st Arundel council chief

December 12, 1990

John M. Whitmore, 80, a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates who became chairman of the first Anne Arundel County Council elected under its charter, died of heart failure Sunday at the Elks National Home in Bedford, Va., where he had lived for two years.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Taylor Funeral Chapel, 147 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis.

Mr. Whitmore was an active supporter of an Anne Arundel charter before its adoption in November 1964 and was elected to the County Council in the first election in 1965. He was chairman until his retirement in 1970.

Ridgely P. Melvin Jr., a retired judge on the Court of Special Appeals, who had been a member of the board that prepared the charter, described Mr. Whitmore as "a hard-working, intelligent, caring person."

Judge Melvin said, "I admired his great sense of integrity. The word was invented for him."

Born in Washington, Mr. Whitmore spent his early years in St. Mary's County. He received his only formal education from his father, an Episcopal priest, and his mother, a teacher.

He became interested in printing as a child when he was given a printing press. His family eventually moved to Reisterstown, and it was there that he started the Whitmore Printing Co. in the late 1920s and became interested in politics.

He published a pamphlet for the Maryland Liberal League, of which he was secretary. He also was secretary of the Maryland Association Opposed to Blue Laws.

In 1930, he published the Reisterstown Herald, a weekly newspaper. It was discontinued during the Depression.

During World War II, he worked for the War Manpower Commission, first in Westminster and then as manager of the Annapolis office.

After the war, he re-entered the printing business with the Whitmore Printing and Stationery Co. in Annapolis. When he sold the company and moved to Port Charlotte, Fla., in 1970, it included printing operations in Denton and Sherwood on the Eastern Shore.

Mr. Whitmore was a member of the Baltimore Club of Printing House Craftsmen.

He was a Democratic member of the House of Delegates from 1955 to 1962, when he ran unsuccessfully in the primary against state Sen. Louis N. Phipps.

A life member and former lieutenant governor of Kiwanis International, he was a former president of the Annapolis Club and had been a member of the Annapolis and Port Charlotte Elks PTC lodges as well as clubs in Punta Gorda, Fla., and Lynchburg, Va.

Mr. Whitmore belonged to St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Annapolis and joined St. Paul's Anglican Catholic Church after his move to Port Charlotte, where he was a member of Sons of the American Revolution and an honorary life member of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce.

His wife, the former Margaret Elizabeth Lowe, died in 1973.

Survivors include a daughter, Elizabeth W. Moffatt of Baltimore; a sister, Marcia W. Keen of Baltimore; and a brother, Paul H. Whitmore of Annapolis.

The family suggested memorial contributions to St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Annapolis or to St. Paul's Anglican Catholic Church in Port Charlotte.

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