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Nov. 15, 1943 – May 6, 2013

Stewart B. Whitney, Ph.D., a retired Niagara University sociology professor, died Monday in Erie County Medical Center after suffering a heart attack. He was 69.

Born in Buffalo, Dr. Whitney was raised in Ohio, where he graduated from Upper Arlington High School near Columbus.

He went on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology from the University at Buffalo. He did some of his post-graduate work at Rutgers University before returning to UB to earn his doctorate in sociology in the early 1970s.

Dr. Whitney taught at several colleges during the 1970s, including Rutgers University, Ithaca College, Antioch College and UB, before taking a position at Niagara University in the late 1970s.

He spent much of his career at Niagara, where his expertise was in the area of interpersonal relations. In 1977, he co-founded the Space Settlement Studies Project.

Dr. Whitney, a Buffalo resident, retired from Niagara in the late 2000s, then taught for several years as an adjunct at UB.

During his high school and college days, he played football and basketball. He also wrestled, boxed and ran track.

In his adult life, Dr. Whitney traveled extensively and was even a dog-sled driver in Alaska.

A conservationist, he co-founded a wolf sanctuary in Concord. He also enjoyed classical music and art.

Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Joan Noel Conti; two sons, Scott and Stewart “Bo” Jr.; two daughters, Belle Murphy and Liz Whitney; and two sisters, Sheryl Hortman and Starr Picchione.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Monday in University Presbyterian Church, 3330 Main St.