John Avery Whittaker
John Avery Whittaker is a fictional character on the Christian radio drama Adventures in Odyssey. He is an old grandfatherly figure who owns an ice cream shop/discovery emporium called Whit's End. He is quite rich but doesn't live in a wealthy manner. He used to be voiced by Hal Smith until he died in 1994 of a heart attack. In 1996 Paul Herlinger took over his voice and still does. During the time while there was no voice for Whit the character worked in an archaeological dig in the middle-east.
While creating the character it was decided he would be the central character. Therefore, a biography called "John Avery Whittaker: A History" was written to help define the character's history and experiences (some of them would be retold in flashback form.) According to the biography he was born October 1 (no given year) in Aberdeen, Scotland. He and his family moved to Durham, North Carolina. He graduated from Durham High School and enrolled in Duke University and majored in philosophy and literature. Three units before graduation he was drafted into the navy and trained as a signalman. He received a purple heart for bravery during the battle of Guadalcanal. He was honorably discharged from the navy during September 1945. After returning to America he worked at the Pasadena Library where he met Jenny (Guinevere) Morrow. He courted and later married her. Their marriage produced Three children: Jeremiah ("Jerry"), Jana and Jason. He became the President of Universal Encyclopedia, which he remained until 1971. In 1970, Whit's son, Jerry, was reported missing in action during the Vietnam. Whit moved his family out of Chicago to Odyssey. Whit was a teacher until his wife, Jenny, died. He left to Nebraska to recuperate until he decided to buy an old building called the Filmore Recreation Center. He turned it into an old ice cream/discovery emporium called Whit's End. He remained in Odyssey for the most part until he decided to go on an archaeological dig in the middle east for about a year. He returned to Odyssey where he has, for the most part, remained to this very day.
- The Complete Guide to Adventures in Odyssey, by Phil Lollar, Focus on the Family Publishing, 1997.