Carroll Elmo Whitney was born Dec. 23, 1929, near Weston, Idaho, to Mervin and Kathryn Whitney. He grew up on the family farm in Weston with no electricity or running water, no indoor plumbing, no refrigerator and no radio. While farm life was often demanding, the location of the family home in beautiful Cache Valley Idaho provided a backdrop where Carroll developed a deep love of the outdoors, including fishing, hunting, and camping. Carroll joined the Boy Scouts at age 12, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and eventually served as scoutmaster for a year when his scoutmaster went to serve in WWII.
While attending Weston High School and West Side High in Clifton, Carroll played football, baseball and basketball. During his senior year, he was co-captain of the football team, captain of the basketball team and a class officer.
Having been awarded a full scholarship, Carroll attended the University of California, Berkeley, beginning in the fall of 1947. He rowed on the crew and was a member of the team that won the Pacific Coast Championship in 1949. He was also a member of Sigma Pi fraternity, where he bonded with a group of fraternity brothers that remained amongst his closest friends throughout his life. In the fall of 1950, while attending a fraternity party, Carroll met his future wife, Leatrice Marie Alsing. In June, 1951, Carroll graduated and received his commission as an Ensign in the US Navy. He and Lea were married two days later on June 17, 1951. They would be together for the next 62 years.
After graduating from Navy Supply Corps School in Bayonne, N.J., Carroll was assigned to the Pacific Fleet where he served aboard the USS Wiseman, a destroyer escort ship. Carroll and Lea followed the ship to its home port in San Diego, Calif. During 1952 and 1953, Carroll was stationed aboard the USS Wiseman off of the coast of North Korea. Carroll was released from active duty in May, 1954. He remained active in the Naval Reserve for 17 years before retiring with the rank of Commander.
While he was serving in the Navy, the couple’s first son Eric was born on Feb. 18, 1953. After being released from active duty they returned to San Francisco where Carroll accepted employment with Shell Chemical Co. as a trainee at a ammonia manufacturing plant in Pittsburg, Calif. Subsequently their daughter, Jill, was born on July 4, 1955, and their son Scott on Nov. 6, 1956.
Within a few months of being hired by Shell, Carroll became a sales representative for the company in San Francisco. Over the next 34 years with Shell, Carroll was a sales representative in Sacramento, Calif. and Overland Park, Kan., District Manager in Columbus, Ohio, and National Sales manager in Atlanta, Geo. Carroll then became vice-president of Sales in Houston, Texas, an achievement beyond anything he had imagined for himself, before retiring in 1988. In the mid 1980’s, in preparation for retirement, Carroll formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, Dayle Olsen, to operate the family farm. They worked together repairing fences, building a fish pond, growing alfalfa, and raising cattle until the farm was sold in 2006.
Carroll led an active life with many interests, including fishing, golf, bridge, wine tasting, travel and family vacations. He was an avid golfer throughout his life and participated in many events and tournaments. Carroll traveled extensively both professionally and for pleasure. He and Lea made regular trips to the west coast to visit old friends from college and work. He maintained many friendships with his fraternity brothers and former co-workers and regularly participated in the annual Shell Ag Chemical reunion. He continued to support his alma mater and made many trips to see the Cal Bears crew and football games. In The Woodlands, Carroll and Lea always looked forward to weekly dinners out with their circle of dinner friends as well as weekly bridge games with their card playing buddies.
Carroll adored spending time with his family, and took his wife and children on annual family vacations camping in Yellowstone Park and surrounding areas while they were growing up. As the children grew up and became spread out geographically, he continued their vacation traditions. Each year he made it possible for his children and their families to get together for Christmas ski trips in Salt Lake City, as well as for a trip each summer visiting locales throughout the American West. He passed on his love of the outdoors to his children and grandchildren who love fishing, golfing, camping, hiking and horseback riding.
Carroll is survived by: son, Eric Whitney; grandson, Colton Whitney; and granddaughters, Madison and Savannah Whitney from West Jordan, Utah; daughter, Jill Whitney from Sherman Oaks, Calif.; son, Scott Whitney; and grandson, Alexander Whitney from Worthington, Ohio; granddaughter, Kathryn Whitney from New York, N.Y.; granddaughter, Dawn (Scott) Pletcher; and great-granddaughters, Mackenzie and Morgan Pletcher from Fairlawn, Ohio.
It has always been a wish of Carroll’s that his friends and acquaintances get together upon his death to laugh, tell stories, and enjoy some food and a good drink. A celebration of Carroll’s life will be held from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, at the Woodlands Country Club Tournament Players Clubhouse, 1730 S. Millbend Drive, The Woodlands, Texas 77380. All friends and family are invited.
If desired, remembrance contributions may be made to: The American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75231.