OBITUARY: John Kimball Whitney

Whitney, J. Kimball age 83, of Wayzata, on November 8th, 2010.

Born September 1st, 1927 in St. Cloud Minnesota.

He was preceded in death by his father, Wheelock Whitney, and his mother, Katharine Kimball Whitney.

Kim is survived by the love of his life for the past 56 years, Helen; their three children, David Whitney (Javier Cisneros), Lucy Standish (Craig), and Kimmy Whitney (Chris Occhi); and six grandchildren: Whitney, Logan, Charlie, Claire, Jack, and Molly. Also survived by his sister, Sally Pillsbury (George), and his brother, Wheelock (Kathleen Blatz).

Kim grew up in St. Cloud, graduated from Phillips Academy Andover in 1946 and from Williams College in 1950. He served in the Army during the Korean War. Kim had a great love for the game of golf; he started playing at age 10, and enjoyed the game all his life. He played on the Williams College golf team, and the U.S. Army golf team during his service in Korea. He was men’s club champion at Woodhill Country Club in 1956, and was one of few Americans who belonged to The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers at Muirfield, East Lothian, Scotland.

Kim served on the board of the United States Golf Association, on its Executive Committee and as a rules official. He belonged to Seminole Golf Club in North Palm Beach, Florida, and enjoyed playing at hundreds of golf courses around the world.

He was proud to serve as Commissioner of Economic Development for the State of Minnesota, under Governor Harold LeVander from 1967 to 1971. He was a long term board member of the Children’s Home Society of Minnesota, serving from 1962 to 1992. Kim was an Eagle Scout, and was honored by the Boy Scouts of America with it’s highest honor, the Silver Buffalo, in 1973 for his many years of service to the organization.

He was the President of Whitney Land Company, which at one time owned 35 farms throughout Minnesota, and he spent many hours traveling between them during his career.

Kim and Helen enjoyed trips to all corners of the world, and he rarely passed a cigar shop without making a purchase – or at least looking in the window. Kim sang in the Williams Octet, and had a lifelong passion for singing. He loved treating friends and family alike to a capella renditions of many old songs. He was a lifelong gardener, and spent countless hours of every summer on his knees in the dirt. It was an avocation he continued to enjoy until the end of his life.

Kim was an avid outdoorsman his entire life. He loved fishing the St. Croix river in search of smallmouth bass, and western rivers for trout. Each fall would find him in a duck blind, always hopeful for a shot or two. Kim was enthusiastic and popular – loved by everyone who knew him. He was quick-witted, and always ready with a one-liner for any available audience. His knowledge of, and skill at recited stories was endless, his favorite being Stanley Holloway’s “Albert and The Lion”. He enjoyed good food and good company – but mostly good company.

Memorial service Wednesday, November 17th, 3:30 PM at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1200 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis. Private interment.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Children’s Home Society and Family Services, 1605 Eustis Street, St. Paul, MN 55108; or Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts of America, 5300 Glenwood Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55422.

David Lee Funeral Home
Wayzata 952-473-5577

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