Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Edgar “Ed” Ray Whitney, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)November 10, 1934 – February 13, 2015
Lt. Col. (ret.) Edgar “Ed” Ray Whitney passed away peacefully at home in Apollo Beach, Fla. on Feb. 13, 2015.
Ed was 80 years old, born on Nov. 10, 1934 in Breckenridge, Mich. to Edith and Orin Whitney.
He married Mary M. Tepass on June 18, 1983 in Oscoda, Mich.
Ed graduated from Breckenridge High School, also earning an engineering degree from Michigan Tech.
He entered the U.S. Air Force and served 21 years. While serving the country he received the Vietnam Campaign Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Expeditionary Medal, Outstanding Unit Award, Navy Merit Unit Commendation Ribbon and Vietnam Gallantry Cross. He was a pilot of many Air Force aircraft and, prior to his retirement, served as deputy base commander at Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda. He also taught mathematics for Alpena Community College.
He was a lifetime member of American Legion Post 274, Voiture #669, VFW Post 3735 and was also a member of Moose #1566, D.A.V., Pedro Rescue Helicopter Assn. Heritage Foundation, U.S.O., MOAA and Eagles #4237. He was very generous with many charitable organizations, especially the Wounded Warrior Project and the Red Cross.
He enjoyed golf, fishing, snowmobiling (from Michigan to Alaska), hunting, traveling, playing cards (especially bridge) and most recently sailing with his wife, Mary, making several trips from Michigan to the Bahamas on their 41-foot Morgan sailboat, The West Wind.
His wonderful sense of humor, with jokes and limericks, and his incredible zest and love for life will live on with those who knew him eternally.
He is survived and loved by his devoted wife, Mary; his sons, Edgar Jr. and Steven (Barbara) Whitney; daughter Dana Zzyym; stepchildren David, Donald (Cindy), Diane and Jon (Donna) Krekorian, also Diane (Dan) Coldren and Robert Tepass; his grandchildren, Sean (Catia) and Vanessa Whitney, Emily (Shane) Teater, Matthew (Brennan), Evan, Lucas and Ryan Krekorian; three great grandchildren, Syncere Gonzales and Evelyn and Eleanor Teater; and Emma, his beloved Westie service dog.
He is also survived by many sisters-in-law, Beverly Whitney, Joan Koenig, Lois Bailey, Sharron Meddaugh, Ruthann Kettlewell, Cheryle Sanderson and Janet Sanderson; brothers-in-law, Russ Peters, Larry Curtin, Leroy Sanderson, Jim Ketttlewell, Bruce Soule, Bill Moore, Tom Wilson, Ray Meddaugh, David Sanderson; also by many nieces, nephews, cousins and hundreds of friends from around the world.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son David; four sisters, Helen, Lee, Bea and Carole; two brothers, Frank and Dale Whitney; as well as brothers-in-law Junior Sanderson, George Sanderson, Harold Redman and Tom Thompson; and sisters-in-law Shirley Sensabaugh, Edith Wilson and Sandy Moore.
The U.S, Air Force Military Honorary Memorial Ceremony will take place on Friday, March 6 at 12:45 p.m. at Bay Pines National Cemetery, 10,000 Bay Pines Blvd. St. Petersburg, Fla. 33708, followed by a celebration of his life at the Whitney residence, 6443 Lake Sunrise Dr. Apollo Beach, Fla.
A Michigan memorial service by Rev. Lee Rhodes will take place on Thursday, July 30, at 11 a.m. at Countryside United Brethren Church, 4762 S. 11 Mile Rd, Breckenridge, with a procession to Ridgelawn Cemetery in Breckenridge, followed by a celebration of his life and luncheon at the church.
The family suggests memorial contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project in Edgar R. Whitney’s name, in lieu of flowers.
Published in Iosco County News-Herald from Feb. 24 to Mar. 3, 2015