Port Townsend, Wash.
May 5, 1935 – March 4, 2017
Morris David Whitney, born May 5, 1935, passed quietly on March 4, 2017 in Port Townsend, Wash. with his family by his side.
Mori was born in Utica, New York to Ida Gibson and Raymond J. Whitney. His family moved to Clearwater, Florida in 1943. He started his journey as a lifeguard and sailor winning the Snipe Class International Racing Association National Junior Championship in 1951 and 1952. While still in high school, Mori enlisted in the Coast Guard reserve. After graduation from high school in 1955 he enlisted in the regular Coast Guard and served on the USCG Androscoggin, stationed in Miami Beach. Later he served as a recruiter in California.
In 1957 he was aboard the Storis, a light icebreaker. It was sent with two other ships to the Arctic Ocean to break ice. The Storis was assigned to Kodiak and was there in 1964 when the tsunami/earthquake hit. He transferred to Juneau, Alaska to the search and rescue office. In 1970 he was on the USCGC Cook Inlet, out of Portland, Maine. From there he was reassigned to Juneau.
Mori and Katherine were married in Sitka on top of Harbor Mountain on August 3, 1974. Mori retired from the Coast Guard in Sitka aboard the Clover on Dec. 1, 1975. But he couldn’t stay away from the sea and worked on the Alaska Marine Highway system until his retirement in 1994.
In 1998 Mori and Katherine cruised down to Port Townsend. They found a lovely, friendly town which they have enjoyed since.
Mori was an avid outdoorsman and traveler, whose charm and adventurous spirit would lead to a host of friends and contacts across the globe. Mori is survived by his loving wife Katherine Buchanan; two sons, David M Whitney and Jon C. Whitney (Siobhan); grandchildren Taylor, Michael, Collin, Kiley and Bec.
A Celebration of Life will be held March 31 from 3-5 p.m. at the Port Townsend Yacht Club, 2503 Washington Street, Port Townsend.
Our thanks to the many kind people in Jefferson Home Health Care and in Jefferson Healthcare hospital.