Joan H. Whitney, age 90, of Sanford, FL, formerly of Muncy, PA passed peacefully into Eternal Life on April 24, 2017. Born in Scranton, PA on February 5, 1927, Joan was the daughter of the late Leroy John Hawker and Kathryn Boles Hawker. Joan graduated from South Williamsport High School in 1944 and married her husband (Bill) William C. Whitney in 1947, when he returned from the WW II after serving in the Naval Air Corp. Joan and Bill celebrated 56 years of marriage before his death on March 26, 2004.
Joan and Bill’s married life took them full circle. In 1957, an employment opportunity for Bill as an engineer with the Martin Marietta Co. precipitated a move to Orlando, Fl. It was in Central Florida that they raised five children and enjoyed all that a warmer climate offered. When Bill retired in 1992, Joan longed to return to her roots in PA and to her sister, Kaye and extended family. And so, they moved north again, living many happy years on Main Street in historical Muncy. In 2007, Joan made the decision to move back to Fl once again to be closer to her children.
Throughout her life Joan remained committed to her faith and demonstrated it through her love and devotion to her family, her church and helping anyone in need. It wasn’t long after settling in Fl that Joan became involved in fund raising events at St. John Vianney, the Catholic Church she had chosen for her young family. Her efforts and those of others who committed their time, talent and treasures enabled the small mission parish to grow, add a social hall and eventually a school. When a group of young nuns arrived from Glenn Ridge, PA to staff the school, typical of Joan, she stepped forward to drive them to the supermarket, errands and to an occasional lunch and movie (a welcome treat to nuns of the day who did not drive or get out often). Today, this church is home to 4000 families. Joan was invited to the church’s 50th anniversary celebration, in 2009.
During the early Florida years, Joan taught Sunday School, assumed the role of President of the Women’s Club, participated in the National Council of Catholic Women and served on several Catholic Women’s panels. Joan worked for a number of years as Office Manager of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in Orlando.
Upon returning to PA, Joan became an active member of the Church of the Resurrection in Muncy. She served as a Eucharistic Minister, faithfully visited the sick and homebound, was a collection counter and a member of the Women’s Organization participating in numerous fund raising activities which benefited the parish.
Community work was also an important part of Joan’s life. With friends in the Muncy/Williamsport area, she was a volunteer in a radio reading service that read the local newspaper to the visually handicapped. Known as the “Radio Readers,” this cause was near and dear to Joan as her own Father had lost his eye sight to glaucoma while in his fifties. Her caring and selfless nature, as well as her compassionate heart, made Joan unforgettable to everyone who was blessed to cross her path.
A devoted mother, known as “Gim" to her eleven grandchildren and “GG” to her six great-grandchildren, Joan is survived by three sons, Thomas J. Whitney (Cathie), William C. Whitney II, Scott A. Whitney; two daughters, Lynne Ann Maitland (Gerry), and Pamela W. Dodson (Jim), as well as a cousin, the Reverend Father Joseph Boles and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to express our heartfelt gratitude to Vitas Hospice Team 1717 for the compassionate care shown to our Mother through this journey and the wonderful support you generously provided to each of us, especially during those last days.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on May 19, 2017 at the Church of the Resurrection, 75 Musser Lane, Muncy, with Pastor, Rev. Father Glenn McCreary, officiating. Burial will follow in the Resurrection Cemetery, Montoursville.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions in Joan’s name be made to the Church of the Resurrection, 75 Musser Lane, Muncy, PA 17756.