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Peter Landess Whitney

September 5, 1937 January 30, 2021
Peter Landess Whitney
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Obituary for Peter Landess Whitney

On January 30, 2021 the world lost Peter Landess Whitney, a beloved husband, father, papa, friend, and Rotarian. Born on September 5, 1937 in McMinnville, Oregon to Harold “Pete” and Vivien Whitney, Peter was one of two children. He was raised in Eugene, Oregon where he attended Eugene High School. As he was growing up, his family valued their vacations together as they traveled all over the United States.

 After he graduated, Peter attended the University of Oregon and graduate in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business financing. Peter was drafted into the United States Army, stationed at Presidio in San Francisco before serving 15 months in Vietnam. Upon an honorable discharge, Peter would return to the University of Oregon and earn a second Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, graduating in 1963.

On a blind date set up by a mutual friend, he would meet the love of his life, Daphne Mann, which led to their marriage on June 7, 1969. They were blessed with daughters, Valerie and Sara. Peter was a devoted father, attending sports events and many activities the girls were involved in. He valued time with his family and enjoyed building many traditions throughout the years. A few of our favorite memories included our Friday Night Pizza at Paddington’s (which the girls still consider the best pizza anywhere) then ice-cream afterwards. Also spending time at the Oregon State Fair before school started.

 After the busy tax season, Peter would take his family to the Oregon Coast for two weeks every summer which often expanded into family reunions.  Time with cousins and grandparents each year at Christmas also built many fond memories. More than being a wonderful father, he became a second dad and adoptive ‘papa’ to many by including and accepting the girl’s friends throughout the years. As grandchildren arrived, the Oregon Coast tradition continued to be a favorite family activity. The grandkids would ask Papa to take them to the pool every day, several times a day, where Papa would take a book to read while the kids spent hours playing together, having the time of their lives. Peter’s generosity was expressed by gifting his whole family 2-week vacations on Maui 3 different times in the last 15 years. Those are treasured memories beyond compare.

Through the years, Peter and Daphne had traditions of their own they enjoyed as well. Every other year they spent 2 weeks chartering a yacht with another couple to explore the Canadian Gulf Islands. Their Northern-most adventure took them to Desolation Sound. And a favorite destination was docking in front of The Empress in Victoria. Another favorite excursion was going to the Walla Walla wine festival for Spring Release with a large group of friends from Rotary. Peter never failed to come back with cases of wine.  In the mid 80’s Peter would be the “hub” of a group of guys who began to take a men’s annual golfing trip each year. The trip would rotate to different courses and finally, in 1999 the trip would take place in Palm Springs, California. This tradition which Peter started has continued for more than 30+ years.

 Peter settled into a lifelong career as a CPA at Bolt Carlisle & Smith in 1972 and transferred to the Stayton Branch in 1975 where he enjoyed the relaxed feel and getting to personally know his clients.  A unique quality in Peter was the connections he made with people, always having an “open door policy” and encouraging teamwork. Jokingly told that he often lived on “Whitney Time”, he managed to get everything done in the day- even with a coffee break or two! He was made a partner in the firm and after 41 years of devoted and loyal service, he retired in 2014.

All through his career at Bolt, Carlisle and Smith and even after retirement, Peter was active in the community. He was a founding member of Stayton Rotary and over the years formed many lasting friendships. He served many times as president and treasurer and was involved in many events for Rotary such as selling fireworks or berries for the community, overseeing the Ducky Derby during Summerfest, and his favorite event being the annual Red, White, & Brews.In addition to Rotary, he also served on the board for the Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce, was a volunteer for the Stayton Library Foundation Development Committee and was on the board for the Oregon Board of Accounting Committee. He also served as a president of the local chapter of the National Association of Accountants and NAA’s Northwest Regional Charter.

Being an alumnus of U of O, Peter was a loyal “Duck” fan and belonged to the Oregon Club of Willamette Valley as their treasurer. Peter was also on the board of directors for Santiam Golf Club many years. Peter was an avid golfer and was a member of the Santiam’s Men Club since 1965. Peter gave countless hours of volunteer time to see the growth and success of the golf course. He also put countless hours on the greens! Besides the sport itself, he loved the comradery at the “19th Hole”.

With his calm demeanor, willingness to listen and voice of reason, Peter brought people together in whatever group he was involved with. It was for all these reasons that he was garnered with the Stayton Sublimity Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Service Award in 2014. Peter was so very honored by receiving the award and true to his humble nature would say, “I think there are many people more deserving than I am”.

Although Peter may have left his earth, his impact on the people and the community in which he served leaves a lasting legacy. Family was the most important aspect of Peter’s life besides the level of integrity he lived by. He was a good listener, kept a calm demeanor, was loyal and kind and generous. His family will miss him greatly.

He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Daphne Whitney; daughters, Valerie and Sara; 7 grandchildren; sister, Sandra Wilson, 3 nieces and their families; and lots of cousins. Additionally, in true nature of his generous kindness, many “adoptive” children and grandchildren that were close friends of the family.

A Celebration of Life is scheduled for Saturday, May 8, 2021 from 1pm to 5pm at Santiam Golf Course located at 8724 Golf Club Rd. SE Aumsville, OR 97325.In lieu of flowers, the family suggests continuing Peter’s legacy by making contributions in his name to the Stayton Area Rotary Foundation, PO Box 267, Stayton, OR 97383 or donations can be left with Columbia Bank Stayton branch.

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Previous Events

Celebration of Life




1:00 PM 5/8/2021 1:00:00 PM - 5:00 PM 5/8/2021 5:00:00 PM
Santiam Golf Course

8724 Golf Club Rd. SE
Aumsville, Oregon 97325

Santiam Golf Course
8724 Golf Club Rd. SE Aumsville 97325 Oregon
United States

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