Elizabeth “Betty” Whitney

Date of Death

November 15, 2018

Elizabeth “Betty” Whitney, a 43-year resident of Santa Barbara, passed away peacefully on November 15th at her home. She was 102 years old. Although she was older than many of us may live to be, she had a knack for making and keeping friends, many several decades younger than her. She earned her teaching degree from Temple University and taught kindergarten, which ignited a lifelong love and support of education. In 1942 she married Marvin Greene Whitney, an engineer one year her junior, and a few years later they adopted two children, Ann and Scott. As Marv ascended the corporate ladder, they relocated to the southern California in 1953, settling in Altadena until 1975 when Marv retired and they moved to Santa Barbara to live the rest of their days traveling, reading, and playing golf. Sadly, Marv passed just two years into retirement in 1977, forcing Betty to reimagine her life as a widow. While she never remarried, Betty embraced a life of travel (visiting every continent except the poles), supporting the arts, and education (establishing scholarships and enabling many of her relatives to attend college). Betty was whip-smart; generous with her spirit, time, and support; had a good-natured sense of humor; and was progressive in her outlook on a world that had changed so much since she was a girl. At 102 she was preceded in death by many of her loved ones including her daughter Ann, and siblings Bob and Harriet. Her memory will live in her son Scott, her three grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and the families of her siblings. She requested no service, choosing for her ashes to be scattered at sea. Anyone who wishes to commemorate her life may donate to one of her favorite charities including The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Art Museum, or Planned Parenthood.


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