Donald Whitney, 1922-2022

Donald Whitney, 1922-2022. Photo provided

N. SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Donald S. Whitney, 99, passed away at his home on Tuesday evening, March 8, 2022. He was born on Oct. 11, 1922 in Springfield, Vt., the son of Phillip and Sarah (Stafford) Whitney. He attended Springfield schools, graduating from Springfield High School and the Co-oP Program.

At age 16, Don began working at the Fellows Gear Shaper with the Co-oP program, He worked as a machinist and engineer with Fellows for almost 50 years, retiring in 1987.

After retirement, Don was active with the American Precision Museum in Windsor, Vt., and served as a mentor for young machinists attending the Howard Dean Tech Center Co-oP program. He initiated and assisted with the restoration of the Spencer Hollow School House, and assisted with displays and information at the Great Hall in Springfield regarding the machine tool industry. In his retirement, Don traveled the world, his visits including a trip to Siberia in one of the first Eco-tourist groups to save the Siberian Tiger. He was an avid photographer of all subjects. Many years ago, a photo he took from around the family farm in Spencer Hollow was accepted by the new magazine Vermont Life and was placed on the cover of the first issue

He was active with many clubs including the Hit or Miss Club, the Ascutney Trail Association, the Appalachian Trail Association, and the Green Mountain Club. For decades Don volunteered maintaining trails, including the trails of Hartness Park in Springfield.

In 2017 he was named Springfield Citizen of the Year.

He enjoyed hiking, downhill and cross country skiing, snowshoeing, canoeing, and winter camping.

He is survived by three daughters, Lisa Whitney of Springfield, Vt., Paula Whitney of Springfield, Vt., and Melanie Whitney of St. Augustine, Fla.; two grandsons, John Whitney and Benson Whitney, as well as several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by one son, Mark Whitne,y and by his five siblings, Margaret Besenbruch, Rollin Whitney, Mildred Massello, Harriet Dodge, and Alice Beadle.

Visiting hours will be held on Friday, April 15, 2022 from 4–6 p.m. at the Davis Memorial Chapel in Springfield, Vt.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Precision Museum P.O. Box 679, Windsor, VT 05089, or to the Springfield Humane Society 401 Skitchewaug Trail, Springfield, VT 05156.

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