News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

James M. Whitney

James M. Whitney (Jim) passed away on December 10, 2020 at age 83 at his home residence in Sisters.

Born in Klamath County to Marion and Carmeliti Whitney on September 27, 1937, Jim attended school K-12 in Brownsville with his five siblings.

He joined the United States Army in 1957, achieving a noncommissioned officer rank of Specialist 5th Class, as a missile fire-control crewman. He then served in the USAR, until receiving an honorable discharge in 1963.

Jim married Patricia Ann Stalford on January 24, 1962 in Linn County. They had a daughter, Colleen Carter, of Carnation, Washington.

He would later marry the love of his life, Willa G. Bullard (Marty), in Southern California, February 13, 1966.

Jim and Marty moved from Brownsville to Sisters, and in 1970 they founded Whitney Sporting Goods. For decades their family business was a local landmark for sportsmen traveling to Central Oregon.

He would also go on to serve his community as a reserve officer for the Sisters Police Department before his graduation from the Oregon State Police Academy in 1982. Jim went on to build a career with the Deschutes County Sheriffs Department, where he served with integrity, loyalty, and honor well into retirement.

He had a lifelong passion for the outdoors, which he shared graciously with his family and the many friends he would go on to make in his pursuit of game throughout the Northwest and Alaska. In his rare leisure moments Jim would often be found teaching hunter safety to the area youth, or simply tossing out a fishing line along with some advice about life.

Jim loved his dog, Babe, his brothers and sisters, and a great adventure, which he is no doubt having now.

Jim is preceded in death by his loving wife, Willa Whitney; his sisters, Carol Weathers of Bend, and Ellen Baxter of Culp Creek.

Jim is survived by his fiancé, Melinda Fritzie of Sisters; his daughter, Colleen Carter; with grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Washington and Oregon; his brothers, Dennis Whitney of La Pine, and Allan Whitney (Short) of Brownsville; and his sister, Ida Brown of Cottage Grove.

Memorial donations can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.

A scheduled celebration of Jim Whitney’s life has been postponed until May.


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