Kenneth Clifton Whiting 1933 - 2021

Dad received a call he couldn’t refuse this past Friday afternoon, from which he will not be returning. He was reunited with Eleanor, his wife of 52 years. His new mission will be to walk the clouds, together with her. He’ll read a good book now and then and not mow grass. He’ll exercise when he feels like it and eat what he wants. He’ll take care of Mom, while keeping an eye on us from above.

Dad’s previous mission of 87 years started in Wakefield, Rhode Island. He was raised with four brothers and a sister. Growing up in Wakefield, he became a major league pitching prospect in high school. When it came time to "adult" though, Dad chose to serve his country and joined the U.S. Air Force in 1952. He met Mom in 1954 and they wed shortly thereafter. In Dad’s 26 years serving his country, he found time to have two sons, Ken Jr. and David. Growing up meant living in different countries - Japan, the Azores, Germany and Greece – enjoying and respecting the many different cultures, and helping others less fortunate. It was important to Dad to raise his sons with a healthy respect of "do unto others" and to be humble. Dad also spent a year in Vietnam. Through the years, Dad rose through the ranks in the recreation field, loving what he did. I might also add that Dad was a highly decorated airman, having received numerous medals and ribbons, including the Bronze Star. During this time, Dad also found time to attend night school and earned a bachelor’s degree in Business. When it came time to retire from the USAF, Dad was presented with an opportunity to start a second career in the U.S. Civil Service as a Civilian Recreation Director at Fairchild AFB, Washington. There he spent another 19 years until retirement came knocking again. After this second retirement, Dad became a full-time caregiver for Mom, until her passing in 2006.

Just prior to that, Dad and Mom moved to McMinnville, Oregon, to be near his oldest son, Ken, and his wife, Kellie, but mostly his grandson, Ben, with whom he enjoyed a strong bond. Dad also enjoyed when his youngest son, Dave, came to visit with his wife, Judith, and their daughters, Mia and Jamie. Shortly after moving to McMinnville, Ken discovered Evergreen Museum, and he became a dedicated docent for 14 years, where he made new friends and gave tours of the B-17. As if he wasn’t doing enough, he decided to help his son Ken open a Mann Mortgage office in 2007. He worked with his son as the office manager for eight years. He greeted everyone with a smile.

Dad enjoyed sports. In his younger days, he was quite the softball player and an avid bowler for many years. He bowled in leagues up until 10 years ago. Tuesday nights were league nights with Dad. He’d spend time with friends, share a couple of beers, then tear up the lanes. Sundays were family time, always a dinner and watching baseball or football together.

Dad spent his last (almost) two years living at Vineyard Heights Assisted Living. There he made more friends, enjoyed exercising, bowling and volleyball, and enjoyed the incredible care and respect that was shown to him. He adored those who helped provide care to him.

Everyone who knew him will miss the sound of his whistling.

Ken is survived by his sons, Ken Jr., (Kellie) and David (Judith); five grandchildren; brothers, Robert and Dave; and sister, Mim. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ellie; and brothers, Ed and Dennis.

To honor Dad, a graveside service with military honors will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, January 29, 2021, at Evergreen Cemetery. To leave condolences, visit


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