David Bruce Whitney

David Bruce Whitney

January 04, 1936 - December 02, 2015

David Bruce Whitney

January 04, 1936 - December 02, 2015


David Whitney, 79, of Mission Viejo, passed away on December 2, 2015 following a stroke. Dave was born January 4, 1936 in Rutland, VT and was raised in Middlebury, VT. The oldest of five children, he made maple syrup, raised a blue ribbon bull and was a page in the Vermont legislature. He joined the Vermont Air National Guard and then enlisted in the Air Force. Initially he was stationed in Iceland where he became the night disc jockey, then stationed in California where he met Cathy Small of Los Angeles. He fell for her immediately and convinced her to marry him. Catherine and David Whitney were married for 55 years and lived a life of learning, travel and hard work. They lived in Virginia for 10 years before returning to California. Dave was a primary force in the Air Traffic Control community, both domestic and foreign, for over four decades, working with all branches of the service. He had a lifelong love of ham and shortwave radio and following his retirement he spent many hours contacting people all over the world. He loved airplanes, trains, John Wayne and Pavarotti, and was passionately patriotic. He loved camping, fishing and hiking, especially in Kings Canyon. He loved to travel and meet new people, but mostly he loved his family.

He adored his wife and three daughters, his sons-in-law and grandchildren and is dearly missed by all who knew him. David is survived by his wife Catherine; his daughters Elizabeth Whitney Barnes (Christopher) of Sparks, NV; Kirsten Lazio (Tony) of Mission Viejo, CA; and Laura Scott (Kent) of Paradise, UT; as well as his grandchildren Julianna (18), Bodie (15) and Alex (11) and step-grandchildren Clayton (19), Corynn (17) and Alyssa (15). He is also survived by his sister Carol Cox (George), his sister-in-law and brothers-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews and extended family who all adored their Uncle Buddy. He was preceded in death by his parents, Hazel and Harry Whitney, his brothers Chuckie and Bobby, his sister Margaret Torvinen, his in-laws, Nelson and Eunice Small and many other family members who greeted him lovingly as he returned home.

Funeral mass will be held January 2, 2016 at 11am at St. Kilian’s in Mission Viejo with a reception to follow immediately. Burial will be Monday January 4, 2016, which would have been David’s 80th birthday, at 11:15 am at the Riverside National Cemetery.

The Whitney Family thanks you for your floral tributes to David and wants you to know that any flowers sent will be donated after the funeral and burial services to patients at Mission Hospital.

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7 responses to David Bruce Whitney

  1. My sweet Kirsten,
    No one can prepare you for a loss; it comes like a swift wind. However, take comfort in knowing that your dad is now resting in the arms of our sweet Lord. My deepest condolences to you and your family precious friend.
    I want you to know that I will be praying for strength, peace, and comfort for you and your family dear one.
    I love dear friend:latin_cross::latin_cross:
    Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos.
    Debbie Nilsen

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Lit a candle in memory of David Bruce Whitney

  3. Elizabeth says:

    There are so many things I will miss about your dad. From our childhood there was the smell of his pipe, his scratchy beard, how I thought he was tall as Abe Lincoln. He looked so much taller than the other uncles. I thought he knew everything and he always encouraged me to learn. As an adult he still encouraged me to learn everything I could and I still thought he knew everything, or almost. I love the memories and him but you are so right, We will see each other again. – Judy Small

  4. Laura Scott says:

    SOARA is very sad to announce that we have lost one of our own, Dave Whitney, K6DBW. Dave passed away last Wednesday after suffering a stroke last Tuesday. He was a member of SOARA for several years and was a fixture at the meetings. He also manned a booth at each of the SOARA Fair events, showing the many QSL cards he collected from around the world. Dave operated both mobile and at home, with great results with just a G5RV at home. Dave’s interest in radio began at a young age and was a SWL (Short-Wave-Listener) back in the glory days of short wave before getting his ham radio license in 2006. Dave was always asking if I’d been on the radio recently and if I had bought a “real” antenna yet and was always enthusiastic about ham radio and was a always a pleasure to talk to. It was great hearing about his latest QSL card or hearing about which DX country he worked just a few minutes ago from the mobile. Dave achieved the following awards: DXCC, WAS, WAC and was working on WAZ and IOTA.

    Dave will be missed by us all. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts are prayers. We have lost a true ham and a great friend.

    -Mike Mahan
    South Orange Amateur Radio Association

  5. Laura Scott says:

    Thank you my sweet friend, Dad loves you and was always so grateful that I had you and Phil to help me out all those years before I got married. He knew you were taking care of me – and still are.

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