James A. Whitney, 87, a longtime Laurel resident who later lived in Hysham, died March 30, 2013.
He was born May 28, 1925, in Billings, the second child of Carl and Helen Whitney. His grandparents homesteaded south of Sumatra, and he spent his early years on the family’s dryland farm. He started school in Sumatra, but the family later moved, and he graduated from Joliet High School before joining the Army and serving in World War II. He was an advance scout for C Company of the 75th Infantry Division in France and Germany.
At war’s end he returned to Laurel, where he married Barbee Anderson on Jan. 12, 1949. He worked at the Cenex Refinery for the next 30 years.
After he retired, and with the kids grown or off to college, Mr. and Mrs. Whitney moved to their farm near Hysham. He and his father raised beef cattle and farmed for many years. In 2005, with fading health, he and his wife moved to Billings, residing in Westpark Village for their final years. Mrs. Whitney died in 2007.
Survivors include a brother, Dennis Whitney; four children, June Luptak, Gary Whitney, Joyce Fiechtner and Rich Whitney; 10 grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.
A service celebrating his life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 5, at Central Christian Church, 1221 16th St. W. Interment will be in Laurel at 1:30 p.m. at the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery with full military honors. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary had charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Special K Ranch or the Big Sky Honor Flight.