Robert Bruce Whitney (1929 - 2016)

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  • "what a beautiful remembrance of bruce....we were so..."
  • "Thank you for your service."
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Inverness, FL - Robert Bruce Whitney, 87, of Inverness, Florida, formerly of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 10, 2016, surrounded by family, at Hospice of Citrus County in Lecanto, Florida. In his 87 years, Bruce celebrated life every day through his devotion to faith, family, friends, and his commitment to causes improving life for disadvantaged children and adults in his community.
Bruce was born in Portland, Maine, the youngest son of George and Mildred Whitney. He attended school in South Portland, Maine, and graduated from South Portland High School in 1946. He earned his AB in Economics from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts, and continued graduate studies at Boston University. During the Korean War, he served in the U.S. Navy. He was employed for 37 years by the NCR Corporation and served for 12 years as the company's Maine District Sales Manager for Electronic Data Processing Equipment prior to his retirement in 1991. Upon retiring, Bruce and Grace realized a life's dream together, traveling extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and Russia.
Bruce was an active member of the South Portland Church of the Nazarene for many years before retiring to Inverness, Florida, where he, and his beloved wife Grace, served faithfully for over 20 years in the Hernando Church of the Nazarene. In 1994, Bruce was honored with the President's Award from the Southern Maine Association for the Education of Young Children, recognizing his leadership in the founding and governance of the Lighthouse School in South Portland, Maine, an outreach ministry of the South Portland Church of the Nazarene dedicated to excellence in early childhood care and education. In Florida, Bruce actively supported the Citrus County Sheriffs' Youth program for at-risk youth, and served as a local missionary leading Bible study and prayer groups for inmates through the Citrus County prison ministries project. Annually, as part of his November 11th Armistice and Remembrance Day observance, Bruce would honor a shut-in WWII veteran with lunch at "Joe's" in Inverness, Florida, offering his gratitude and recognition to an elderly vet for his wartime service to our country. Bruce stood against injustice wherever he found it and was a long-time, ardent supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was an articulate scholar, skilled businessman, advocate for children, loyal friend, devoted family man and Christian ambassador.
Bruce will be remembered for "faith in action," his personal ministry of kindness and compassion, but most of all for his devoted love of family, and his grace, wisdom, quick wit, love of the written word, and humorous appreciation for life's many ironies. Bruce shared a special bond of closeness with his older brother, George, and family gatherings through the years have been rich with their many fond reminiscences of summers spent with dearly-loved grandmother "Nan" at Cedar Grove on the Kennebec.
Bruce is survived by his adored wife and soulmate of 40 years, Grace Hawk Whitney, now of Bow, New Hampshire; brother George W. Whitney, and wife Donna Hughes Whitney, of Kennewick, Washington; son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Annette Whitney, Woodland Park, CO; daughter Deborah Whitney Orozco of Wells, ME; daughter and son-in-law, Lorena Whitney Goodsell and David Goodsell, of Green Harbor, MA; daughter and son-in-law Karen Verrill and Tony Cabot of Bow, NH; extended family Carlos Gonzalez (predeceased); Scott and Linda Gonzalez of Chandler, AZ; Carmen Gonzalez of Athens, ME; JoAnne Frostad and Nick Magliarditi of Las Vegas, NV; Kevin Smith of Las Vegas, NV; Chris Smith of Costa Rica; Steve Smith of Mechanicville, NY; beloved grandchildren Richard Whitney, David Whitney; Molly Orozco (predeceased), Ben Orozco; Hannah Goodsell; Abby Glerum, Liz Verrill, Grace Verrill; Rachel Gonzalez; Beth Deki; Dylan LaBelle, Abel LaBelle; Angelina Smith, Argenie Smith; Santino DeMartino; Jaclyne Smith, Danielle Smith, and many beloved great-grandchildren.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life service on June 10, 2016, 11:00 a.m., at the Spurwink Church, Route 77, Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Interment will follow immediately at Riverside Cemetery at Spurwink. A private family reception will follow at The Black Point Inn, Scarborough, Maine. We are especially grateful to Hospice House of Citrus County, in Lecanto, Florida, for their loving care and support of our dad and us during his final days. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in Bruce's memory to this worthy nonprofit: Hospice House of Citrus County and the Nature Coast, 3350 West Audubon Park Path, Lecanto, FL 34461, or online at
Arrangements are under the guidance of Hobbs Funeral Home, South Portland, Maine. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at:
Funeral Home
South Portland, ME 04106-3802
(207) 799-4472
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Published in Citrus County Chronicle on Mar. 21, 2016
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