Nature 28

Donald Orin Whitney

January 13, 1943 ~ October 15, 2020 (age 77)


On October 15, 2020 as the first rays of sun began to shine through the trees that he loved and called his “Church”, Don Whitney passed away peacefully at his home with his loving family by his side.   

Donald was known by many as “Don/Donnie”.  To his family he was simply “Daddy” and to his grandchildren as “Barba”.  His deep love and devotion to his family was demonstrated throughout his life.  He was our mentor, our friend and confidant.  His knowledge of life, his strength to pursue all he desired and his love for us all was unbreakable.  His teachings to all of us will be a lifetime of memories, of laughter, hugs, kisses and many, many stories.  The words of one of his grandson’s Jared speak of the true essences of who he was to all of us;

“Life can start with a simple seed.  If tended to and nurtured right, it could grow into something wonderful, something strong, something to love, something with courage.  Trees are an example, they harness such qualities.  Although there are many types with many meanings, they all have expansive canopies, beautiful leaves and the deepest roots, like the maple tree, it symbolizes balance, offering, promise, longevity, generosity, and intelligence.  Ironically, this tree reminds us of you.  You may be thick and stubborn, but when blossomed you show your true colors.  The maple cares for others with the food it makes, like you care for others with a helping hand.  The branches and roots symbolize relationships, like the strong ones you’ve created.  The maple generates gatherings and gives experience to others like you do.”  You ARE the maple tree of our family.  Your wisdom, your ways and above all, your love will live within us forever and always.

Donald  O. Whitney was born January 13, 1943 son of Orin Colley and Edna Hawkes  Whitney. 

Don graduated Pennell School in 1961.  From there, he went on to USM for courses in Business Management.  He soon married his beautiful wife Beverly Davis on August 24, 1968.  This was the beginning of their life together and the start of their beautiful family.

 In the spring of 1969, Don and his brother Fred started a family tree business, Whitney Brother’s Inc.  The brothers worked side by side for several years until Fred went off to pursue other life plans.  At such time a new business, Whitney Tree Service Inc. was created.  Don’s work ethic, determination, strength and foresight helped form his successful business that has withstood the test of time. In 2000 he sold and retired from the business.  With a busy life of raising a family and running a business, Don still found time to be an active member of his community and became a member of many organizations.  He was an active Life Member & President of the Royal River Rod & Gun Club, the Androscoggin Valley Beagle Club and Gray’s National Historical Society.  He also was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Maine Arborist Association, as well as sitting on the board of Meadow View Senior Housing of Gray.

 After retiring and raising a family of three girls, he and his loving wife Beverly set off on their new path of life with adventures in traveling with their RV.  Their travels brought them to 47 out of 50 states and 6 different countries.  During retirement Don also enjoyed many fishing and hunting excursions.  In 2016 they decided to settle into a more permanent location and bought their winter home in Sorrento, FL.  The friendships developed there provided much laughter, love and support that were treasured by Don.  A special thank you to Charissa and Jack Dempsey of Sorrento, FL  for watching over and caring for Don throughout his courageous battle with cancer.

Don is predeceased by his mother and father Edna H. & Orin C. Whitney and his granddaughter Cassondra Leigh Sullivan.

Surviving of 52 years, is his beloved wife Beverly G. Whitney,  brother Fred T. Whitney and a sister Aubine W. Dingwell.  Three daughters; Leigh Whitney Sullivan and significant other Tim O’Wril, Tammy and Frank Brown Jr., Marjorie and Kris Heald, 9 grandchildren and 1 great-grandson.  Don is also survived by his very special aunt Elizabeth Whitney Megquire of 102 years.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations to be sent to The New England Cancer Specialist and Gray’s National Historical Society. 

There will be no visiting hours.  A graveside service will be held in the Spring.


PO Box 544
Gray, ME 04039

New England Cancer Specialists
100 Campus Drive, Suite 108
Scarborough, ME 04074

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