November 9, 1941 – January 25, 2019
James Ivan (“Tiny”) Whitney, LTC, US Army (Ret.) was born Nov. 9, 1941 in Grandview, Washington, to Raymond and Myrtle (Nelson) Whitney, the baby of 10 children. He died Jan. 25, 2019 in Greenacres, Washington.
Ivan played basketball and baseball and was a drum major in the marching band at Grandview High School. He graduated from Washington State University in 1964, a member of AGR fraternity and ROTC. He served in the U.S. Army, flying the OV-1 Mohawk aircraft in Vietnam, and received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with “V” device for valor, and the Bronze Star. After Vietnam, he flew UH-1 Huey helicopters in the Washington State National Guard, was a medic and commanded the 841st Medical Helicopter Ambulance Unit in Spokane.
He lived in Othello, Washington for 43 years, where he owned and operated Western Auto and Othello Sporting Goods, was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, served on the City Council and JC’s, coached Little League and Babe Ruth baseball, and worked on the Sandhill Crane Festival. Ivan loved elk hunting, packing in on his mule Erline with his best friends. He and Arline moved to the Spokane Valley 11 years ago.
Ivan was a devoted family man, and is survived by his wife of 54 years Arline (Averett) Whitney, daughter Renee Williams (Tim), son Craig Whitney (MaryAnn) and four grandchildren Nathaniel and Naomi Williams and Connor and Madison Whitney.
Donations in Ivan’s honor may be made to the Opportunity Presbyterian Memorial Fund or to the Parkinson’s Foundation.
There will be a celebration of Ivan’s life on Friday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m. at Opportunity Presbyterian Church, 202 N. Pines Road, Spokane Valley, Washington.