September 6, 1928 - February 6, 2014
Abbie Lou Wight Birrell Whitney passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 6, 2014. Born Abbie Lou Wight on Sept. 6, 1928, in Brigham City, Utah, to Leland Nelson Wight and Fontella Holmgren Wight. Graduated from East High School in 1945. Graduated from University of Utah with a B.F.A. in 1949, where she studied painting under renowned artists such as Le Conte Stewart and Alivin Gittins.
Married Richard Everett Whitney, July 18, 1949. Moved with Dick to Park City in 1978. Dick died July 15, 1980. Loved Park City and lived there for 25 years. Active in many Park City artist activities.
Abbie was a patron of the arts and a well-known lifelong artist. She served on the Board of Trustees of the Kimball Art Center in Park City and the Utah Heritage Foundation in Salt Lake City. Abbie painted exclusively in oils until the early 1980s, after which she committed herself to the challenge of watercolors. She exhibited in many art shows in Park City and Salt Lake including one-man and two-man shows at the Kimball Art Center, the Salt Lake Art Center and juried shows in Salt Lake City and Bountiful. Abbie's work enhances many homes and private collections. Member of Utah Watercolor Society and Park City Professional Artists Association. Member of the Junior League of Salt Lake City. Member Salt Lake City Country Club (junior member). Charter member of Willow Creek Country Club. Active member in many community and League projects, and many Park City fundraisers. Longtime member University of Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Abbie very much enjoyed her work in the Museum Docent Program and her book club. Devoted member of Sewing Club and The Town Club.
Abbie always believed strongly in the First Amendment and freedom of choice. She had a strong thirst for knowledge and self-expression. And above all else, tolerance in this world.
Preceded in death by husband, Dick Whitney, mother and father, and stepfather Laurence H. Birrell. Survived by her beloved sister Leeanna (Robert W.) Yates of Salt Lake City, and her four children: Kim Tullis of San Diego, Calif.; Kristin (Scott) Haynes of Anacortes, Wash.; Richard L. Whitney of Salt Lake City; and James C. (Robin) Whitney of Park City. Also survived by seven grandchildren: Harmony (Drew) Storms; Thomas Andrew (Jana) Tullis; Whitney Tullis; Dustin (Sara) Haynes; Patrick Haynes; Grace Whitney; Claire Whitney. And seven great-grandchildren: Gavin Haynes; Zeke Haynes; Paia Storms; Castle Storms; Emma Tullis; Aria Haynes; and Abigail Tullis.
Abbie loved skiing, golf, tennis and hiking in Brighton. Loved the many hours spent in Brighton with Dick (where they first dated), and their children and eventually grandchildren, and many happy times at the family Brighton cabin with family and friends. "Happy Skiing."
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Feb. 13, at noon at Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple, followed by graveside service at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park, 3401 Highland Drive, Salt Lake. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the University of Utah College of Fine Arts or the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.
Published in The Park Record from Feb. 12 to Feb. 14, 2014