Quentin Alexander Whitsitt | Obituary


Quentin Alexander Whitsitt, a 25-year-old Texas native, died peacefully of a cardiac event on October 1, 2022, at his home in East Lansing, Michigan. From the start, he was a cheerful and optimistic person, as evidenced by his chalk writing on the garage wall: “hape da”, pronounced “happy day”. Happy days filled his life. As a child, he exclaimed more times than you can count that it was the “best day of his life”, and later his social networks were full of places, people and activities that he loved.

While living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast since the age of eight, he became an accomplished sailor, competing in Gulf Coast regattas. He enjoyed helping other young people learn to sail as an instructor at the Long Beach Yacht Club. He continued to sail through his sophomore year at Long Beach High School, where he was also on the cross country and track teams.

Quentin chose to complete his high school education at the Mississippi School for Math and Science, a boarding school for advanced studies in northern Mississippi. He was missing home, but had big plans for his life and wanted the challenge. He filled his summers with science camps and internship experiences. His internship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham became the determining factor in the course of his life. He attended UAB, graduating with a degree in neuroscience in 2019. He was a member and officer of the TKE fraternity, serving as president in his senior year.

Quentin then joined the doctoral program in biomedical engineering at Michigan State University. He respected and deeply loved his PhD mentor, who guided and encouraged him to spread his scientific wings. His research on brain implants resulted in a number of published papers and led to his decision to pursue training as a neurosurgeon after completing his doctorate. He introduced the idea of ​​a student council for the biomedical engineering department, oversaw the formation of the council, and served as its first president.

Quentin traveled to Glasgow, Scotland in July 2022 to present his research at the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Immediately after, he traveled to Cedaredge, Colorado for what was to be his final family visit, culminating in a late July hiking trip with his father. Quentin returned home to East Lansing, finished writing his last paper, and then had time to study for the MCAT in preparation for entering medical school. He was found sitting in his chair, study materials on his lap. At the time of his death, Quentin was absolutely on top of the world, proud of what he had already achieved and full of plans for the future.

Quentin was much more than his educational and professional accomplishments. He loved the beauty of Michigan State University’s expansive gardens, so he volunteered there. Family and friends regularly received photos of a beautiful garden view or a neatly weeded flower bed. He also volunteered at the local hospital, where motherhood was his favorite task. He was a charming companion and a loyal friend, always generous with his time and attention. Most importantly, Quentin was a loving member of an extended family who adored him. His family is deeply grateful for each of the 25 years with Quentin as he grew into the mature, confident and accomplished man he has become. There were many opportunities to share what had become a family saying – hape da!

Quentin is survived by his parents, Karla and Philip; sister Piper; grandparents Joan Schmidt, Phil and Carol Whitsitt, and Sandy and Don Griffin; aunts and uncles Deanne Schmidt, David and Cathy Schmidt, Doug and Ginny Levack, Steve and Becky Davis, Wes and Julie Anderson, and Angie and Morris Brooks; and many cousins.

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