George R. Whitney

George R. Whitney

George Raymond Whitney, 76, of Hardwick died Monday, June 10, 2019 at Copley Hospital, with his loving family by his side.

He was born in Lyndonville June 29, 1942, son of Milly (Lenton) and Harold C. Whitney, attended school in St. Johnsbury and graduated from St. Johnsbury Trade School in 1961.

He married Ruby M. Bumps Sept. 14, 1963, and they made their home in St Johnsbury.

George held many jobs over the years; working for The Radio Shop in New Hampshire, where he met Ruby, and at Reliance Electric, St. Johnsbury Cable TV, and the Wes Calderwood Funeral Home.

He started his law enforcement career with the St. Johnsbury Police Department in 1964 and was a part-time game warden during hunting season. He also worked for the Caledonia County Sheriff’s Department, transporting prisoners.

George and Ruby, along with their children, moved in May 1968 to Hardwick, where he was the police chief until December 1972, when he became an investigator for the Vermont Department of Liquor Control. He retired in December 2004, and then worked for the Holcomb des Groseilliers funeral home.

George was very active in the community. He was a life member of the Hardwick Kiwanis Club and was the longest-serving New England district administrator of Key Club International. George was a past commander of Sons of the American Legion Post 7. He was also a member and president of the Vermont chapter of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials. He was a high school baseball umpire, serving as the commissioner for several years, and was active in the Hardwick Area Little League. He held several positions on the board of the Vermont Police Association, was an instructor for cadets at the Vermont Police Academy, and served on the board of the Governor’s Highway Safety Association.

He also spent many years on the Hardwick Rescue Squad, Hardwick-area school boards, and the Board of Civil Authority. He was a justice of peace, served on the Hardwick Cemetery Committee and was a member of the Barre Elks 1535. 

He received many awards and much recognition through his life, but was a very humble man who always wore a little smirk on his face.

His hobbies at a young age included driving a racecar at the Waterford Race Track and the Thunder Road International Speedbowl and participating in the Hardwick Men’s Softball league. Most recently, George enjoyed watching his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren participate in many sports and community events.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Ruby Whitney of Hardwick; his children, Timothy Whitney and wife Jennifer of Hardwick, Lori (Whitney) Major and husband Kevin of Barre, and Angie Whitney and partner Lucas Molleur of East Hardwick; his grandchildren, Andrew Whitney and wife Mariah, Adam Whitney, and Alyssa Whitney, all of Hardwick, Cody Carlson and fiancé Ashley Collins of Barre, Samuel Major and Maxwell Major, both of Rutland, Amber Foster and husband Zachary of East Calais, Amanda Nash and husband Colby of Greensboro, and Shyler Thompson and partner Riley Tobin of Jeffersonville; and his great-grandchildren, Jameson, Coltyn, Kearsten, Payten, Noah, Allie, Nevaeh, Kinslee, Lennix, Laycie Elijah, and Lettie.

George, the oldest of eight children, leaves his siblings Bryce Whitney and wife Marion of Morrisville, Russell Whitney and wife Helen of North Andover, Mass., Ruth Marceau and husband Glendon of Peacham, Debbie Ruggles and husband Roland of Lyndonville, Patti Hatch of Groton, Nikki Young and husband Ronald of St. Johnsbury, Wendi Wilson and husband Dennis of North Concord, and stepsister, Diana Gray of Concord. He also leaves many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

His parents and stepmother, Maidene Whitney, died earlier, as did his stepsister Joanne Croteau.

Friends and family are invited to calling hours and a memorial service on Saturday, June 22, both at Hazen Union High School, 126 Hazen Union Drive, Hardwick. Calling hours are from 1 to noon; the memorial service, officiated by the Rev. Evelyn Lavelli, begins at 12:15 with a private burial immediately after the service.

A celebration of George’s life will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus, 206 Route 14, Hardwick. The des Groseilliers Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Condolences and memories may be conveyed to the family at dgfunerals.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to the George R. Whitney Scholarship Fund, in care of Hardwick Kiwanis Club, P.O. Box 856, Hardwick, VT 05843 or the Hardwick Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 837, Hardwick, VT 05843.

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