February 11, 2010 by Joseph Krohn
Certainly by now, many of you have heard the saddening news, but for those of you who don’t know yet, I must inform you that we’ve lost one of the best of us. Paul Herlinger, voice of Adventures in Odyssey’s central character from 1996 to 2008, passed away on February 2, 2010. His death is certainly having an impact on many of the online fans – myself included.
Paul Herlinger resigned from his role as Mr. Whittaker after the production of album 50 due to health concerns. I think it would be safe to say that the news of Paul’s passing is like that of Walker Edmiston, voice of Tom Riley. Walker passed away in February 2007, and his death was noticed by many fans. Who would have thought that Paul Herlinger would follow shortly two years later. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to his family and friends.
Paul was a very well-received and loved man during his time at Adventures in Odyssey. Having been with the team since 1996, Paul stepped into a very difficult role as Whit and served it faithfully for roughly twelve years. He has appeared in 218 episodes of AIO. Hal Smith (Otis), the original voice of Whit, appeared in 260 episodes before his passing in 1994. Truly, Paul Herlinger’s days at AIO will be appreciated for years and decades to come, just like that of Hal. His life’s impact and lessons taught will live on in our hearts as we connected with Paul through the powerful tool of radio drama.
It’s interesting to note that in a behind-the-scenes interview for one of AIO’s features, Paul revealed that working for Odyssey was one of the most gratifying things he did in his life. Has saw firsthand that God was at work in the lives of the many AIO writers, directors, actors, and the ministry of Focus on the Family. Paul’s passing should be a constant reminder to us that life truly is a vapor.
Actor Andre Stojka has agreed to step in as the new voice of Whit, and the show continues. Farewell, Paul Herlinger. Thank you for everything you did to make AIO great.