Todd Whitaker Obituary

Todd  Whitaker
Todd Whitaker

December 19, 1953 - June 29, 2018
Born in New London, CT
Resided in East Lyme, Connecticut


Todd’s Journey:

- October 2013- Melanoma removed from his back- stage 1A “very thin.” He did not have radiation.
- May 2016- Diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. He had treatments through the summer.
- Sept 2016 - Stem cell transplant at Smilow (Yale), which was very difficult, but he was able to resume his life with the cancer in remission.
- Feb 2nd 2018 - Retired from NUWC after 42.5 years
- Last week in March - Todd told Patty he had pain in his right side
- April 2nd- CAT scan revealed a mass in his abdomen. Diagnosis stage 4 melanoma “very aggressive”
- April 16th- Immunotherapy treatment (one time). Kidneys start to fail.
- April 27th - Admitted to Yale (11th floor) - kidney’s continue to decline, and was put on IV nutrition (TPN)
- May 1st- Kidneys failing and moved to Smilow MICU (Medical Intensive Care Unit) on the 10th floor. He was put on 24/7 dialysis (CVVH- Continuous Veno-Venous Hemofiltration)
- May 8th- He is too sick to receive the second immunotherapy treatment but genetic testing results finally arrived and showed he was positive for the BRAF mutation. After 48 hours on this BRAF chemo, his lactic acid went down and tumor began to shrink. Everyone was amazed that he had a response so quickly.
- May 28th - Left MICU and moved to hemotology floor again (off dialysis, and kidney’s functioning again)
- June 12th - Ready for rehab. Transported to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital (Rehab unit). He did well, and made some great strides, but it was very difficult for him because he was “very deconditioned”.
- June 18th- By this date he was able to transfer into a car and Patty drove him to Guilford for a follow up appointment to see his oncologist.
At this point he was scheduled to come home June 30th and visit Dana Farber on July 2nd for consult.
- June 21st- He did not feel well and could not do PT. He called it a "setback."
- June 27th - Taken by ambulance back to Yale. Admitted to Step Down Unit in ICU
- June 28th - It appeared that this BRAF chemo treatment was no longer effective, and the cancer was making a very aggressive comeback. When options were presented to him, he said he was suffering, had trouble breathing, and said he couldn’t fight anymore.
- June 29th - Taken off all the machines, given comfort care and the family was with him until he passed.

Our hearts are broken, but we are so proud of him. He fought as hard as he could. He is and will always be our Hero.

Todd Whitaker, Sr.
East Lyme- Todd Eldridge Whitaker, 64, of East Lyme, passed away surrounded by his family on Friday, June 29, 2018, at Smilow Yale-New Haven Hospital, after a heroic battle with stage IV melanoma.
He was born in New London on December 19, 1953, the son of Walter Eldridge Whitaker and Christine Bills Whitaker. He and Patricia Massaro Whitaker were married in New London in 1979. In addition to his wife Patricia, he is survived by two children, Todd E. Whitaker, Jr. and his wife Alba; daughter Kathryn Whitaker; his two sisters, Kimberly Goff, Kristen Beebe, and his father Walter E. Whitaker. He was predeceased by his mother, Christine B. Whitaker.
Todd grew up in Niantic, was a member of the Niantic Bay Yacht Club, and spent many summers teaching sailing, racing, and sailing with his family. He attended the East Lyme Schools, and in 1975 graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a BS in mechanical engineering. In the late 90s he earned a MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
After 42.5 years of distinguished service, Todd retired this February from the Naval Underwater Warfare Center (NUWC) in Newport, RI where he had been the Chief Naval Engineer. He worked for the Navy, interacting with the highest ranking officials, and was involved with classified work. He earned numerous awards and has his name on three patents for the government.
Todd was a very special man, father, friend, colleague, and confidant to everyone in his life. He was selfless and always doing for others. When his children were involved in town activities, he was their coach and scout leader. He has always been dedicated to his family, and was especially active in caring for his parents and in-laws who lived in town.
He had many favorite interests including traveling, watching the Boston Red Sox and attending their games, skiing in Vermont with family and friends: biking, boating and sailing, fishing, riding his ATV and scooter. He especially loved cars; looking at them, driving them, and working on them.
Calling hours are Thursday, July 5 from 4-7 PM at Thomas Neilan & Sons Funeral Home on 48 Grand Street, Niantic, CT. A Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated in St. Agnes Church at 11 AM on Friday July 6th. Interment will follow in East Lyme Cemetery.
A heartfelt thank you to the staff at Yale (MICU, Oncology, Hematology) and L&M's rehab floor for all the efforts made to help Todd and our family during the last 3 months.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in his honor to Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale New Haven Hospital, CT ( or the Boston Red Sox Jimmy Fund (
Please visit to view photos, leave condolences, sign the register.




Calling Hours
Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home
48 Grand Street
Niantic, CT US 06357
Thursday, July 5, 2018
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Mass of Christian Burial
St. Agnes Church
22 Haigh Ave.
Niantic , Connecticut United States 06357
Friday, July 6, 2018
11:00 AM
East Lyme Cemetery
Boston Post Road
East Lyme, CT US 06333
Friday, July 6, 2018

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