On September 26, 2017, Madeline M. Whitney slipped away peacefully in her sleep. She was born in Philadelphia, PA on December 26, 1926 to Irish immigrants Mary and Michael Brennan. She was the youngest of five siblings with three siblings still living outside Philadelphia.
She graduated from Little Flower High School in 1944 and went to work at the Philadelphia Naval Depot in NE Philadelphia. While there she met her future husband, William R. Whitney, and married him in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1950. Her only child was born in 1951. Together the three of them traveled the world, while Bill was still in the US Navy (30 years) and later working for Air America. They lived in exotic places like Hawaii, Taiwan, Thailand and Japan, as well as visiting many other countries. Madeline’s favorite place to visit was Hong Kong. She learned to do Ikebana flower arranging, played mahjong, took up bridge and learned to speak Mandarin Chinese.
In 1967 they decided it was time to settle down back in the Seattle area. They found a house and settled in Bellevue, WA. Madeline took up gardening and was well known in her neighborhood for her beautiful yard which was her pride and joy. Madeline lived in her house for 47 years and was so sad when she could no longer live there on her own.
Madeline and Bill were among the first members of The Bellevue Athletic Club which they enjoyed immensely. Madeline discovered her competitive spirit and never looked back. At age 50 she started doing aerobics, weight training, hiking, jogging and her favorite sport – tennis. She was often found on the courts playing with players who were 20 years her junior and she often substituted in both the women’s and men’s leagues. She played tennis clear up to 80 years young! This all in spite of breast cancer of which she was a 25 year survivor.
Madeline is preceded in death by husband William R. Whitney. She is survived by daughter Patricia and son-in-law Scott Gordon, her sister Dorothy Meder, and her brothers Jack Brennan and Bill Brennan. At Madeline’s request there will be no services. Remembrances in her name should be sent to an organization which helps animals find their forever home such as PAWS and NOAH.
When I come to the end of the road,
and the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room,
why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little but not too long
and not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared
miss me but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take
and each must go alone
It’s all a part of the Master’s plan
a step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick at heart,
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrow in doing good deeds,