WALLACE GORDON "WALLY" WHITNEY ~ Class of 1970
April 18, 1952 - August 2, 2011
Wally Whitney, age 59 passed away August 2, 2011, at his home. He was born April 18, 1952 in Richland to LeeRoy and Willo Whitney. As a child he lived on a small farm near Prosser where he enjoyed raising farm animals including his pet sheep, Cookie.
After moving to Richland in 1963, Wally attended Marcus Whitman Elementary, Carmichael J.H. and Columbia H.S. Wally enjoyed playing with his friends in the rock band "Pype Dream", performing at high school dances and at battle of the bands competitions. After graduating from Columbia High School in 1970, Wally traveled across the United States to see the rest of the Country. After his return he attended Columbia Basin College in Pasco where, as class President, he was able to bring entertainer Bob Hope to the campus. He then went on to graduate from Central Washington University in Ellensburg in 1976 with a degree in Business Administration.
Following graduation Wally began his career with JC Penney in Kennewick and later on in Farfield, CA. He then moved to Seattle to work in the insurance industry and then in the flooring business for several years before moving back to Kennewick where he started his own business. From 1998 to 2005 he worked for Raytheon Constructors and Washington Group International at the Chemical Depot in Umatilla, OR. During that time he was diagnosed with cancer. Following successful cancer treatment, he was employed by AMEC Earth & Environmental in Richland. His last job was working for CH2MHill in Richland until his cancer returned in 2009. In May, 2011, after a very courageous battle, that included many surgeries, he was declared cancer-free.
He was very thankful to all his friends, family and to the health care professionals that helped him through the toughest time of his life. Wally was also thankful to the Cancer Center of America, in Goodyear, AZ for the excellent care they provided and was especially thankful to Dr. David A. Litvack, MD. Wally's life was shared with his family and with many friends he made throughout his lifetime, with his dog, and with his cat family. He loved animals so much, he provided a home for 9 stray cats who were with him when he died.
Wally was caring and giving, a brother and best friend who will be dearly missed by all of us. Wally is survived by three brothers, Thomas Whitney (Debbie) of Kennewick, Gerald Whitney ('72) (Lauri), West Richland, Edward Whitney ('78) of West Richland, and his sister Karen Whitney ('76) (Gary) Davis, Kennewick.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Willo and LeeRoy Whitney, and by two brothers, Ronald Whitney ('64) of Auburn WA, and Russell Whitney ('80), of Kennewick.
A graveside service, open to all, was held August 12, 2011 at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Richland.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Cancer Center of America, Goodyear AZ. Anyone who could help find new homes for Wally's cats would also be greatly appreciated.