John Avery Whittaker

John Avery Whittaker

Adventures in Odyssey character
John Avery Whittaker (aka Whit)
Gender: Male
Voiced By: Hal Smith (1987 - 1994), Paul Herlinger (1996 - present)
Origin: Odyssey, Colorado
Family: Guenivere Whittaker (wife, dead), Jerry (son, dead), Jana (daughter), Jason (son), Monty (grandson), Jenny (granddaughter)

John Avery Whittaker, (born, 1924-)known to most friends and fans as "Whit", is the main fictional character of Adventures in Odyssey and the namesake of Odyssey's most famous attraction, "Whit's End". He is a sort of spiritual Christian leader to the children in Odyssey. He was originally voiced by Hal Smith; after Smith's death in 1994, the character of Whit left Odyssey to lead an archaeological mission in Israel for the "Universal Press Foundation". Whit returned to Odyssey in 1996; since that time, he has been voiced by Paul Herlinger.

The character of "Whit" is somewhat of an enigma. His actual age is never mentioned but we can assume he was in his late teens or early 20's when serving in the Pacific in WWII. This would put him in his late 60's or early 70's for the series but we never really have a hard confirmation of that.

Although born in Scotland, Whit's family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina when he was a child, where his father taught at Duke University and married his stepmother, Fiona. During a horseback riding accident his stepmother was struck by a branch and she lost her sight as a result and young Whit saw the accident as his fault. In the end her faith and contentment about her situation was the biggest influence on his faith. (These facts are revealed in episode #30: "Thank You, God".)

Whittaker served in the U.S. Navy as a signalman on the USS Irongate during World War II in the Pacific theater, having been deployed shortly before the Battle of Guadalcanal (as revealed in episodes #93: "Rescue from Manatugo Point" & #94: "Operation DIGOUT"). After the war, Whit attended the University of Southern California (with help, presumably, from the G. I. Bill of Rights), where he studied English, and met his future wife, Jenny (as revealed in episodes #464 & #465: "The Triangle, Parts 1 & 2").

Following the war, Whit's history is somewhat unclear. At some point, he founded the "Universal Press Foundation", an encyclopedia publisher, and helped create the Universal Encyclopedia. His time at UPF was also spent working closely with members of the Department of Defense in creation of the powerful computer program, "Applesauce" (#73 "A Bite of Applesauce). Before he founded UPF, he was an award winning english teacher. Eventually, he moved, along with his wife Jenny (whom he met in University. She was dating Jack Allen at the time,) to Odyssey after founding UPF. There, he taught grade school children. His wife died there and that inspired him to open Whit's End.

Whit had three children with Jenny: Jerry (who died in the Vietnam War), Jana and Jason.

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