Michael Ray Whitney, age 77, of Stoughton and Sun Lakes, AZ, journeyed to his heavenly home on Sunday January 20th, 2019. He was born Dec. 30th, 1941 in Mankato, MN, the son of George & Doris Whitney of Delavan, MN. He attended Delavan High School where he graduated in 1959. At age 17, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and was trained as a drummer. He spent the remainder of his 4-year hitch performing in the U.S. Marine Corps Drum & Bugle Team, based in Hawaii & touring the Far East and Australia. In 1963 he enrolled in the University of Minnesota as a music major, graduating in 1967. He worked his way through college by performing in night clubs in Minneapolis. While in college he met another drummer, Carol DiGiovanni and they married in 1965. They had 3 daughters, Christine, April, & Kimberly. The marriage ended in divorce in 1975. Following college, Michael continued performing in various bands & in 1972 was selected by the Hollywood USO for a tour of Viet Nam & Thailand to entertain the troops. Michael entered the insurance business in 1975, becoming a Division Manager for Physicians Mutual & relocated to Madison, WI, where he served for 16 years before becoming an independent financial advisor in that city. While in Madison he became civically active as President of the Optimist Club of Madison and was instrumental in forming 5 new Optimist Clubs. He also became a Free & Accepted Mason, where He served as Master of Madison Lodge #5 & Thrice Potent Master of The Scottish Rite. In 1983 he married Stella Kleiboer who had 3 children, Rodney, Jason & Heather. They lived in Stoughton until 2001 when Stella developed COPD, causing them to move to Arizona for her health. They would continue to spend summers in Edgerton until Stella’s death in 2011. Following her death, Michael continued spending winters in Arizona where he had been active in Shriners activities since 2001. He played drums with the Phoenix Shrine Band & became Director in 2014. He also played in the Shrine Drum & Bugle Corps & served several years as President of the Sun Lakes Shrine Club. In 2014 Michael married Carmelita Olmedo, whom he had brought to the United States from the Philippines after a 2-year courtship.
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They continued living in Arizona for the winters and Wisconsin for the summers until his death.
He is survived by his wife, Carmelita; his daughters, Christine, of Hudson, FL., April, of Bothell, WA, and Kimberly, of Bloomington, MN; his stepsons, Rodney, of Evansville, and Jason, of Edgerton; his grandchildren, Loren, Zurich, Whitney, & Ashley; his step-grandchildren, Ricky, Andrew, Nathan, Hannah, Nick, Khloe, Paul, John, Kurt, & Kirby; his step great-grandchild, Amara; and his beloved companion, Pixie.
A Masonic Service will be held at 12:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at the WHITCOMB-LYNCH FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICES. Burial will follow in Lutheran South Cemetery, Stoughton. Visitation will be from 11:00 A.M. until 12:00 P.M. on Tuesday at the FUNERAL HOME. As per Michael’s wishes, a grand Celebration of Life will take place at a later date.