Willard J. “Wink” Whitney, 92, of Phoenix, NY, passed away at his home on Friday May 3, 2013. Born in Happy Valley in the town of Parish to his late parents, Clara (Mitchell) and Charles Whitney on October 28, 1920. He enjoyed life and learning various skills and teaching welding & automotive classes at B.O.C.E.S., He was a transportation superintendent for Phoenix Central Schools; a mechanic, heavy equipment operator, snow plowing for the Town of Schroeppel, NYS ceritifed welder, special deputy sheriff, restored old tractors, sold insurance. Wink was one of the first men to bring Blue Grass music to CNY, “The Chuck Wagon Boys”, from Hotel Syracuse to Canada they per formed. A musician and an accomplished fiddle player,at age 85 he taught himself to play the banjo. In his early years he was a farmer and butcher at the farm, and was head mechanic at the Ford Garage (where the Nice & Easy Grocery, stands now). Wink was a 40 year plus member of the Callimachus Lodge # 369 F &AM and the American Legion Horning Fournier Post 418, both in Phoenix.
Predeceased by his wife, Marie Jessie (DuMont) Whitney on April 1, 1993; his step-daughter, Karen Salsbury; two brothers, Lewis C. in 2007, and Francis in 1977; a nephew, Charles Whitney in 1978; his companion, Bertha Mae Rafferty in 2005.
Surviving are his step- children, Keith LaBeef, Carol Vezzose, a step-son- in-law, Paul Salsbury; nieces and nephews, Paul (Laureen) Whitney, Alan Whitney &( Shawna Leigh,) Margaret (Kenny) Rusaw, Marion (Tim) Nortz; grand nieces and nephews; cousins; his closest friends and care givers, Paul & Ellen Hatch; and many, many close friends.
Services are on Wednesday May 8, at 2 p.m. in the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, 431 Main St., Phoenix, NY 13135. Calling hours are from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, before the service. Burial will follow in Pleasant Lawn Cemetery, State Rt 69A, Parish, NY. Contributions in his memory to: Phoenix Fire & Rescue Dept.; Phoenix Area Food Pantry; or Friends of Oswego County Hospice.