Robert F. McWhorter passed away September 1, 2018, at the age of 88. Robert was born on October 17, 1929, near Jane Lew, the son of Dale and Orva McWhorter.
Robert graduated from Jane Lew High School in 1947. After working two years at Jackson’s Mill, he enrolled in Salem College and graduated from West Virginia University in 1954, with a BS degree in Recreation.
Robert married Betty Joan Smith on August 27, 1952, in Masontown. They had two daughters, Jane Ann McWhorter Eubanks (Paul), of Powder Springs, Ga. and Susan Lee McWhorter Buellesbach (Klaus), of Vernon Hills, Ill. and five grandsons, Alexander Buellesbach (Erika) of Chicago, Ill., Nicklaus Buellesbach (Rachel), of Orlando, Fla., Kyle Eubanks (Laney), of Louisville, Ky., Scott Eubanks (Kenda), of Atlanta, Ga. and Cole Eubanks, of Powder Springs Ga.
After serving two years in the U.S. Army, Robert was hired by Purdue University as Assistant Director of The Purdue Memorial Union and Conference Center at West Lafayette, Ind.. He obtained his Master’s degree in Recreation Administration from Purdue in 1959.
Returning to WVU in 1959, Robert was the Director of the Mountainlair with the task of planning the new Mountainlair which opened in the fall of 1968. He was the third director of the Mountainlair since its opening in 1948.
He became the first director of student activities and educational services at WVU in 1970, and held that position until his retirement from that full-time position some 20 years later.
After retirement from full-time status in 1988, he continued to serve WVU in numerous part-time positions as senior associate administrator of student affairs and director of WVU Jackson’s Mill.
After retirement Robert, with the assistance of Joseph Hutchison and Betty Bea Cox, organized and presented the first WV Storytelling Festival at Jackson’s Mill in 1996, and assisted in the founding of the West Virginia Storytellers Guild. He continued to serve as the director of that festival until 2002, and received numerous recognitions and awards for his contributions, both statewide and nationally.
He was very involved with McWhorter family genealogy since 1990, at which time he assisted with the insertion of replacement logs in the Henry McWhorter Cabin at Jackson’s Mill. In 1993, he coordinated the celebration of the Cabin’s 200th birthday with more than 200 family members attending from across the United States. For more than 20 years he has served the McWhorter Clan in various capacities as a reunion officer, spokesperson, tour guide and family historian.
Robert has donated his remains to the West Virginia University Human Gift Registry for the further advancement of medical education.
Services will be conducted at McWhorter United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 22.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to either the McWhorter Cabin Fund, 2061 N Inverness Dr, Vernon Hills IL 60061 or the McWhorter United Methodist Church, County Highway 25, McWhorter, WV 26385.