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Bridgewater Community rallying around Carlyle Whitelow as he battles COVID

Published: Oct. 10, 2021 at 8:03 PM EDT
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BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WHSV) - The Bridgewater community is rallying around one of its most beloved members who is currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

Carlyle Whitelow has been bringing joy to Bridgewater for decades. Residents of the town may recognize him as the man who can usually be seen every morning waving to people as they go into work.

“He stands in front of the Dairy Queen in the mornings and waves to people going to work and smiles and wishes them a good day and happy day. He just has different messages for people and he brings a smile to people’s lives,” said Bill Kyger, a member of the Bridgewater Rotary Club and a long-time friend of Whitelow’s.

Members of the community payed Whitelow a visit on Saturday at Sentara RMH. A group of people were seen in the parking lot waving up at Carlyle in his hospital room.

Community members wanted to do their part to show support for Carlyle, who is described as a caring and giving person.

“You cannot find a more giving person than Carlyle in terms of what he does for the community, not just the community as a whole but individuals in the community. He is just a very giving person,” said Charlette McQuilkin, President of the Bridgewater Rotary Club. McQuilkin said she’s known Whitelow for nearly 30 years.

Whitelow, who used to work at Bridgewater College, has been active in the community for decades serving as a youth sports coach and a member of the Rotary Club.

“He’s kind of just been everybody’s brother, everybody’s uncle, everybody’s father, everybody’s grandfather in Bridgewater and the surrounding area,” said Bill Kyger.

Kyger and a few other community members have started a group called Whitelow’s Wavers, and they have been taking Carlyle’s place, waving at people in the mornings from his regular spot until he is able to recover.

“We decided that it would be good for us to stand the ground that he stood and wave, so that everybody has an opportunity to continue to get the smile and to know that he’s OK,” said Kyger.

The town’s Whitelow Park is also named for Carlyle. It was dedicated to him back in 2018.

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