Transportation 07


September 27, 1943 ~ January 14, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old


John Arthur “Butch” Whitney, a true “engine” of enthusiasm and ompanance, slowed the flywheels to a stop on January 14, 2024, at the age of 80.  Born in DeKalb, Illinois, on September 27, 1943, John was the spirited son of the late Clifford and Helen (Nyman) Whitney and brother to the late Katherine Diane Saldenais.  John, a member of the Northern Illinois Steam Power Club since the 1960’s, was not just  a collector of hit and miss gas engines, but also of hearts. His generous spirit and imaginative soul fueled many an adventure and conversation.  A graduate of DeKalb High School, Class of ’62, he never lost his spark of youth, thoughtfully igniting the imaginations of those around him. He loved to entertain and was happiest in preparing and decorating for all holidays, but especially Christmas.  His home mimicked Santa’s workshop, complete with millions (yes, millions) of festive lights and presents galore under the tree. John was also a lifelong Packer Backer.  He had been able to attend several games at Lambeau Field, most recently in 2019 with his daughter Heather, her first trip to the beloved frozen tundra. After moving to Heather’s home in Texas in 2022, they still watched the games on television and were able to share one last game together on January 14- a phenomenal win over the Dallas Cowboys. While in Texas, John was able to learn more about Brazilian culture by Maria Luiza, “Malu”, Heather and Allen’s foreign exchange student. John and Malu created a wonderful bond.  He picked her up from the bus stop afterschool every day, always with a Dr. Pepper and Reese’s Cup. They continued to message even after she left to go home last year. 

The Whitney Family engine will continue to run, being led by John’s daughter Heather (Allen) Burks of Gardendale, Texas and his grandchildren: Kaitlyn (Zachary) Melton of Front Royal, Virginia; Paige (Steve, aka “Cuddly”) Fraedrich of Odessa, Texas; and Samuel (Dezmaray) Watt of Gardendale, Texas.  Great granddaughters Lennix and Adley Melton also add to the horsepower.  John had many friends that he shared his life with to include best friends Steve and DeDe and companion Bonnie and her family.

 Friends and family are invited to gather for a visitation on Thursday, January 25th from 3pm-6 pm at Anderson Funeral Home, 2011 S 4th Street, DeKalb, Illinois where memories will be shared with more horsepower than John’s beloved engines.  A funeral services will be held at 10am on Friday, January 26th, at Anderson Funeral Home. Interment Private. 

In lieu of flowers, rev up your generosity and donate to The Tails Humane Society in DeKalb or The Barn on Baseline Animal Shelter in Genoa, Illinois. It’s what John would have wanted- to give a ‘purr’ of comfort to animals in need.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of JOHN "BUTCH" ARTHUR WHITNEY, please visit our floral store.

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January 25, 2024

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Anderson Funeral Home
2011 South Fourth Street P.O. Box 605
Dekalb, IL 60115

Funeral Service
January 26, 2024

10:00 AM
Anderson Funeral Home
2011 South Fourth Street P.O. Box 605
Dekalb, IL 60115


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