Oct. 24, 1940 – Jan. 21, 2020
Joseph M. Whittington, of Depew, a leader locally in the field of real estate home inspections, died Jan. 21 in Mercy Hospital following cardiac arrest. He was 79.
Born in Carbondale, Pa., the sixth of seven children, he came to Buffalo with his family in 1942 and was a 1958 graduate of Kensington High School.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ohio State University and later attended the National School of Real Estate Finance and Business Management.
Having enlisted in the Naval Reserve after high school, he transferred to the Army after college and served through 1963. Stationed in Germany, he attained the rank of private first class.
Returning to Buffalo, he worked in the mortgage department of Liberty Bank.
“Based on his experience mortgage processing and selling, he saw there was a need for more knowledgeable appraisers in the industry,” his stepson Alan Zoldos said, “so he pursued that avenue and became one of the best known in the state. That eventually led to his interest in the developing home inspection industry.”
A licensed real estate broker and state-certified real estate appraiser, until 2011 he conducted more than 200 home inspections per year, performing structural inspections, radon tests and lead and asbestos assessments.
He appraised about 300 residential and commercial properties annually and was approved by the Federal Housing Administration.
He was a state-certified instructor in real estate appraisal, new construction, environmental hazards and real estate finance. For more than 40 years, he taught classes for the New York State Association of Realtors and the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors. He created more than 15 courses about real estate and related matters.
Working as a certified environmental consultant for 30 years, he wrote a handbook, “Environmental Hazards in Real Estate.”
For the past nine years, Mr. Whittington had been director of training and senior certified residential appraiser for Northeastern Appraisal Associates.
Previously, he was senior appraiser and home inspector for almost eight years for Cash Realty of NY, and was senior vice president of Home Inspections of Western New York, a subsidiary of Whittington Appraisals. He also had been president of Real Estate Appraisal and Related Services of New York Inc. and Northeastern Inspection Inc.
Mr. Whittington was a past president of the New York State Society of Real Estate Appraisers, the New York State Association of Realtors and Western New York Metro Brokers.
In 2006, he was named president of the NYSAR Education Foundation. He served on numerous committees for the realtors’ organization.
His columns on real estate matters appeared regularly in the Homefinder section of The Buffalo News.
He contributed numerous articles to trade journals and other newspapers.
The Greater Buffalo Association of Realtors honored him as its 1996 Realtor of the Year.
He was predeceased by his first wife, Nancy. Last July, he married his longtime companion, the former Norine Gallery Zoldos.
Survivors include a son, Maurice; two other stepsons, Gary Zoldos and Darren Zoldos; a stepdaughter, Karen Holstein; a brother, Gerard; three grandchildren; and six stepgrandchildren.
Graveside services with military honors were held Jan. 25 in the Field of Valor in St. Matthew’s Cemetery, West Seneca.