Father John (Jack) Whitley, CSB, a native of Rochester, died June 24, 2012. He was 84.
Father Whitley graduated from Rochester’s Aquinas Institute in 1944. He entered the Basilian order shortly after graduation and took his first vows in 1945. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Ontario and a library science degree from the University of Rochester.
He began his teaching career in 1951 and served in Texas and Canada prior to being ordained a priest in 1954. In 1955 he became a librarian and teacher at Aquinas Institute, where he also moderated the school band, was color guard instructor and coordinated assemblies. During his 17 years at Aquinas he also wrote weekly articles on high-school activities for the Catholic Courier using the pen name Whit Johnson.
After serving at Aquinas, he became vice principal at Catholic Central High School in Detroit, where he also earned a degree in educational administration from Wayne State University. He then became principal at Andrean High School in Indiana, and in 1989 was appointed director of the Basilian Fathers’ Mission Center. In 2006 he was assigned to help with the spiritual life on the campus of the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. He also was involved with the Knights of Columbus, serving as chaplain to councils in the Houston area as well as serving as associate state chaplain.
Father Whitley is survived by his sisters, Jeanne Dailey of Connecticut and Sister Nancy Whitley of Rochester; brother-in-law, Thomas A. Conners Jr. of East Rochester; and one niece and seven nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Mary Anne Whitley Conners.
His funeral Mass and burial were in Houston. A memorial Mass was held Aug. 5, 2012, at Mercy Center in Brighton.