“My dad was supposed to go out and pick them up at the airport,” recalls grandson Frank Whitehouse, who was 10 at the time. “And he called the airport and was told the plane was late and that they didn’t know where the plane was.”
The news rocked Lynchburg, where Lawrence Whitehouse was of the city’s— even one of America’s– business leaders, who ran the company then manufacturing and selling ChapStick, the iconic lip balm, as well as the Blair line of personal products sold a la Avon.
The late Mr. Whitehouse made frequent business trips to New York, typically by train, but on this particular one his wife accompanied him for some pre-Christmas shopping, the grandson recalls, noting that his own father was so shaken by losing both parents that he would rely on ships to travel to Europe.
The son, Dr. Francis Record Whitehouse, raised five sons with his wife and lived until January 2009 when he died at the age of 95.
About four years after the crash, John Morton, the co-owner of ChapStick’s then parent company, Miller Morton Manufacturing, sold the firm to Richmond based A.H. Robins, which was eventually acquired by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare.