It is with great sadness that we announce that Donald J. Whitney of Naples, FL, formally of Hudson, MA, passed away peacefully at his home in Naples, Florida on December 11, 2019, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Don was born on May 31, 1938 in Marlboro, MA, to Donald and Mary Whitney and lived in Hudson until his retirement.
After graduation from Hudson High School in 1956, he briefly attended Colby College before enlisting in The United States Navy, where he served proudly for 4 years. Upon discharge he returned to Hudson and married his high school sweetheart, Sheila Duley, with whom he had 2 sons, Kevin P. Whitney, and Donald F. “Shack” Whitney. His wife Sheila predeceased him in 1993.
Don’s business career involved management positions at some of the largest electronics companies in the country. At the time of his retirement he was Director of Customer Service for Whistler Corporation.
Don was an accomplished athlete. He lettered in 3 sports while in High School and has been inducted into The Hudson High School Hall of Fame. He held season tickets to the N. E. Patriots, The Boston Bruins, and The Florida Everblades for many years and seldom missed a game. He also was a member of a Massachusetts State Championship baseball team.
From a very early age he was an avid football and hockey fan. He loved his Patriots T-shirts and one could say this was his daily “uniform”. Some thought that he was born with skates on both feet, a golf club in one hand, and a football in the other. He took up golf at an early age and eventually became a member of Marlboro Country Club and The Club at the Strand in Naples, where he had multiple holes-in-one. Don was the Strand Club Champion in 2009.
Don was extremely involved in Hudson Youth Sports, primarily as a teacher, coach and hockey referee. He was a dedicated hockey coach and was proud of the many young men that he coached over the years. One of his protégées was drafted by the NHL and played for 4 Stanley Cup Teams.
In 1996 Don married Ruth Baj Griffin who was widowed with 4 children. Together they built a beautiful blended family.
Upon his retirement in 1996, Ruth and Don moved to Naples, FL for their love of golf and the abundant sunshine. He loved going on cruises and did so frequently in the company of his good friends who were members of the “golf group”.
Don was a loving and dedicated husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He could be stubborn and contentious, but as most know he was always “patient”. He was courageous, loyal, and honest. A friend of many and a person who will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Don leaves behind his loving wife Ruth, his two sons, Kevin P. Whitney of Hudson and Donald F. “Shack” Whitney and wife Kim of Hudson, his 3 step-children Elizabeth Baj Toohey (Kevin) of Princeton, David ( Denyse) Baj of Leominster, Joseph ( Helen) Baj of Pennsylvania and daughter-in-law Laurie Baj of Marlboro and brother Peter Whitney of Hudson.
His grandchildren, Matthew and Lynsay Whitney, Alyssa Whitney, Brendan, Kyle and Erin Toohey, Andrew and Trevor Baj, Emma and Joseph Baj Jr., Alec and Aniel Baj (children of Laurie Baj of Marlboro ) He was also predeceased by his parents, wife Sheila Douley and his stepson Michael Baj.
Visiting hours will be at Tighe Hamilton Regional Funeral Home Thursday, December 19th from 4-8 pm. The funeral will be held on Friday, December 20th, 2019 at 10 a.m. at Tighe Hamilton Regional Funeral Home, 50 Central St., Hudson, MA. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Hudson V.F.W. immediately after the burial at Forestvale Cemetery.
A Celebration of Life will also be held in Naples at a later date. The family sends thanks to Dr. Daniel Morris and his staff, AVOW Hospice, and special friends Joe Vogtle, Jeff Zink, Jim Dallett, Vic Giglio and Corey Lytle.
Donations in Don’s memory may be made to The Hudson High School Booster Club 69 Brigham St. Hudson, MA 01749.
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