Howard Grant Whitney

August 14th, 2009



We are sad to announce the passing of Howard Whitney, born 4 October 1922 in Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, died 14 August 2009 St. George, Washington, Utah. Howard is married to Ellice Henrie also of St. George. Their children are Ralph Grant Whitney who died in 2002, Lucile, Kent Howard, Kim Henrie, Elyce, Joel William, and David Wayne Whitney. We extend our condolences to the family and they are in our prayers.


Howard Grant Whitney
(October 4, 1922 – August 14, 2009)

Howard Grant Whitney

U.S. Veteran St. George, UT – Howard Grant Whitney, age 86 and a beloved husband, father and grandfather peacefully graduated from mortality with honors on Friday, August 14, 2009 in his home in St. George Utah surrounded by family, love, and the singing of his favorite hymns by family members.

He was born on October 4, 1922 in Good Springs, Nevada to Ralph Emmanual and Doris Nay Whitney. He is the second child of seven and is survived by his sisters, Lorraine Nelson, Laverne McClendon and Elsie Banks and his younger brother Keith. He was preceded in death by his brothers Calvin and Bert.

He married Ellice Henrie on March 10, 1945 in the St. George Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Howard was a Lt. Commander in the United States Navy and served as a Navy Fighter Pilot during World War II. After the war he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Utah State University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Utah. He was a teacher by profession and taught High School math for over 30 years in Delta Utah, Upland, California and Lone Pine, California.

Howard was ordained a Patriarch in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1970 by Elder Spencer W. Kimball of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and served for decades before being granted emeritus status when his health failed.

He is survived by his wife Ellice Henrie Whitney, his daughters Lucile Giedt of Albrightsville, Pennsylvania and Elyce Joseph of Riverbank, California, his sons Kent Howard of Lone Pine, California, Kim Henrie of St. George, Utah, Joel William of Lone Pine, California and David Wayne of Medford, Oregon. He was preceded in death by his eldest son Ralph Grant. He has 34 grandchildren, 55 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.

Leaving a Living Legacy–Bert N & Anna C. Whitney Family History Committee

April 30th, 2009

Report of Whitney-Nay Family History Over the Past 3 Years (what we know and can remember)

Given at REW Reunion on April 11, 2009

1. Nadine Rolfson and her daughter located Ormus Bates Nay’s grave in Arizona and marked it with a headstone (assisted by other family members including Bert Whitney).

2. Established a family archives with the intention of preserving and safeguarding and sharing family records.

3. Organization of committee to include the next generation.

4. Jeni Goodman and Megan Whitney are producing a family stories ABC book

5. Whitney – Nay Family History website established and maintained by Jacob Breinholt–Currently on the website (It’s just a beginning):

  1. Doris Nay history and selected journal entries
  2. Ralph E. Whitney history
  3. Bert N Whitney history
  4. Book files for The Nays in Utah and the West

6. We are in the process of scanning family photographs and documents to include on the website and to distribute by CD.

7. Collaboration with the Luke Whitney family organization (Julia Rawlins & Judy Ball).

  1. Beth is sifting through genealogical work done by Fenton Whitney to determine if all temple work has been done. She has found more work that can now be completed.
  2. Beth and Joy visited their reunion meeting to help with their organization.
  3. They copied several items from our archive collection to be included in their book—on line at <>
  4. Beth wrote a short history for one of their chapters based on the research she has done in her genealogy classes at BYU.

8. Collaborated with Susan Whipple (at the last GB Whitney reunion) to produce a digitized copy of the George Burton Whitney family record book—have arranged to distribute this to interested family members and to post this on the GB Whitney website (see sidebar link).

9. In collaboration with Mary Syphus to hopefully help her produce a book on her findings about the Syphus family.

10. Under Clark’s direction, held a family reunion in Panaca, Nevada, visiting historic family sites there and reviewing family history that occurred in this area.

11. Jill attended the graveside services of Ora Nay Benson, Doris Nay’s cousin, and became acquainted with these cousins, children of Larry Lee, trading family history information.

12. Beth is pursuing an educational program at BYU with the goal of becoming a professional genealogist. She has researched the family of George Sanders Whitney and Mary Eveline Barnard and is updating the sources in the Whitney pedigree.

13. Temple work

14. Beth has affiliated with and done some work for the Whitney Research Group, an informal group of individuals interested in the scholarly research of Whitney families around the world and throughout history. See sidebar link.

15. Beth and Kim Whitney organized and held an RE Whitney family reunion with the purpose in mind of furthering loving family ties and creating an RE Whitney family organization.

Pictures from Reunion

April 30th, 2009

Hi Family, if you would like to take a look at the reunion pictures, you can see them at this website:

Just copy the link, paste it in your browser and enjoy!

R.E. Reunion Report from Beth

April 28th, 2009

I wrote this April 12, 2009:
Yesterday and Friday we had the R E. Whitney reunion, which is the first one we’ve had in a long time. When I originally set the date and place, I had a few concerns about it, and so did others. It was over part of the Easter weekend, and it was out at Whitney pockets in Nevada. I finally addressed the concern with the Lord and asked him point blank, “Lord, is this the right time to have this reunion?” I received a resounding “Yes.” Then I asked again, “Lord, is Whitney pockets the right place?” Again, a resound yes, the “tingly” kind, came to me in the same manner. From that point on we never looked back.
Friday morning Kim & Vicki went out to the pockets and looked around for a place to stake a claim for the rest of the group. The actual pockets campground was jammed full, and so was our alternate choice just past there. They turned around and came back to an outcropping of rock just north of the pockets and one side was packed but the other side was totally empty. They pulled in there, and realized it was perfect for our group. A couple of R.V.’s pulled in behind them and Kim went and talked to the drivers and told them there was going to be a group of about 30 or so coming for a family reunion. The were very nice and said, “Okay,” and just turned around and left. I felt like angels were just guarding the campground and saving it for us.
It was so great to see our group start to gather and one car after another started pulling in with people and gear. The sky was cloudy but it wasn’t cold, just cool. We cooked dinner and set up camp. After dinner we chatted around the campfire and sang songs and shared stories. As the evening progressed, we could see stars! That night in the nighttime there was a rainstorm that started up and then “Boom! Crack!” A huge thunderstorm began that lasted for about 45 minutes. It was powerful and magnificent. It reminded me that it was Good Friday, and how it must have been when Christ was crucified. The next morning Joy shared with us that she felt it was a huge reminder of God’s power and that he was in charge.
Early the next morning we got up and started cooking breakfast, noticing a rainbow in the east starting out from behind the mountain. It was so pretty. It kept sprinkling rain all morning long, and we kind of waited for it to stop, but it didn’t. We had a group prayer, and Clark was our voice. Something he mentioned was the recognition of how valuable rain is to the desert, and asking for the Lord’s will to be done, which we all agreed on. The rain continued, but it wasn’t hard, just a steady sprinkle, so we went ahead with our activities. We had the older kids hide the eggs and Susie (Clark’s wife) jollied everyone up with her cute pink bunny costume. When we got the signal, the younger kids hunted. The eggs were hidden in the large jutting red rock area by our camp, which provided many nooks and crannies to tuck eggs. Naturally memories of days gone by filled our minds as we watched the little hikers/hunters scramble over the red rocks, exclaiming over the prizes they found. Joy and Jill set up a “museum” in Kim’s RV, and there were many “patrons” who went in and were able to examine and handle (with white gloves) some of the artifacts of our ancestors. We had our potluck lunch–Mark Hansen showed up with perfect timing and set up a rain shelter, which kept the tables nice and dry with their lovely spread of food. Because of the steady wetness, most of the chairs were unusable, so we stood around and ate and visited standing up. Clark pulled his long RV trailer up alongside the firepit and tables, and some went inside there to eat. After the lunch we had a family meeting in the trailer to organize our extended family and plan a reunion for next year. As the meeting came to an end, the rain subsided long enough to pack up camp and head out. Some may conclude that it was too bad it kept raining all morning, but my observation is that we really wanted to meet together pretty bad if we were willing to stand around and get wet just so we could visit and catch up a little with each other.
The detailed information about who attended the reunion and the plans for next year will be posted soon.
Thanks everyone for coming and making it a dream come true!

Alex checking the eggs

Alex checking the eggs

Successful REW Family Reunion!

April 22nd, 2009

Oh my goodness, what a great time I had at the Easter reunion at Whitney Pockets! I had hoped for no rain to fall on us, but that was not the case. Looking back, I wonder if I needed that rain to keep my feet on the ground. I seemed to float through the 2 days and surely would have disappeared into the beautiful red rocks without a little dampening. The desert was at its best, a flowering carpet of loveliness. The rain provided a beautiful rainbow on Saturday morning. The Easter egg hunt was all it promised to be, with children searching in the rocks and over the wet ground for the prizes in their eggs. It brought back so many memories of me doing the same thing.

The potluck was wonderful–Mark’s shelter saved it from getting too watered down. My sister Adele handed me an umbrella which kept me kind of dry, but added to my Mary Poppins feeling as I shared some family history with interested people who visited the “museum” in Kim’s motor home.

The family meeting was outstanding. There were some great ideas and some tender feelings shared. We’re looking forward to another reunion next year. The decisions of the meeting will hopefully be published right here on the website.

Best of all, to me, was the reuniting of hearts with my dear family. What a treat to see Aunt Laverne and Uncle Keith and Cousin Marilyn (Nay) Catoor. How fun to meet my cousins’ children and grandchildren. What a treat to share the beauty of this place with my own son and grandchildren and my brother and sisters and their children.

Greeting my cousins and visiting with them transported me into the past, and I felt 16 again. After the campfire visit and singing on Friday night, I was ready for the fireworks of our desert storm during the night. It so energized me that the next morning as I looked into the mirror to comb my hair, I was surprised to see an old woman looking back. I love to camp. I love the desert. I love my family. Thanks so much everyone who participated to make this reunion happen–especially Beth and Kim. In my heart it was a resounding success!

LDS General Conference April 2009

April 22nd, 2009

“Learning the lessons of the past allows you to walk boldly in the light without running the risk of stumbling in the darkness. This is the way it’s supposed to work. This is God’s plan: father and mother, grandfather and grandmother teaching their children; children learning from them and then becoming a more righteous generation through their own personal experiences and opportunities. Learning the lessons of the past allows you to build personal testimony on a solid bedrock of obedience, faith, and the witness of the Spirit.

“Of course, it’s not enough to learn these lessons as a matter of history and culture. Learning the names and dates and sequence of events from the printed page won’t help you very much unless the meaning and the message are written in your hearts. Nourished by testimony and watered with faith, the lessons of the past can take root in your hearts and become a vibrant part of who you are” (Elder Russell M. Ballard, “Learning the Lessons of the Past”).

These words mean so much to me because they are exactly my experience. I love to read about, think about, write about my ancestors and other family members. They have given me so much. They have paved the way for me to be who I am today.

Thank you Jake

March 17th, 2009

I don’t know how he does it, but I send out my stuff and Jake finds time to post the newly transcribed histories.  I really appreciate all he does to keep this site (and several others) going.  I also appreciate his sweet wife Reagan for being so patient with him while he does all the favors for the many people who appreciate and utilize his talents. THANK YOU!

New Written Histories Available

March 16th, 2009

The written history of Ralph Emanuel Whitney, as well as that of his son Bert N. Whitney are now available for viewing online.

Nay Family Book Now Available

February 21st, 2009

“The Nay Family in Utah and the West” is now available for online viewing and as a downloadable PDFs. Note, the end note links are not correctly defined, yet. So they are currently all posted at the end of their respective chapters. Eventually we will create at TOC and link up all of the end notes. Thanks, Joy for putting it all together and making it easy to post.

Watch for Nay Book online

January 28th, 2009

We have received many requests for the previously published book, John Nay in Utah and the West. We are working on putting those files on this site for whoever would like to download them.

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