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Daniel WHITFIELD Obituary

Family-Placed Death Notice

WHITFIELD, Daniel Daniel Ellis Whitfield, a retired Northwest Airlines pilot, passed away Sunday, July 21, 2013 due to complications from cancer. Danny was 67. Danny was a gifted aviator, an avid sportsman, and a devoted family man. Cherished by his friends and adored by his family, everyone who met him loved him. His trademark grin and charming wit will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Ellis Roosevelt Whitfield and Shirley Scarbrough Whitfield, he was a graduate of Russell High School. At an early age, Danny learned to fly airplanes and became a flight instructor. Danny was a patient and kind teacher and his skill as an instructor later led to a career in commercial aviation. Danny fulfilled his dream of becoming an airline pilot and was hired on by Southern Airways in 1972. After a merger, Danny later flew for Northwest. Danny covered the globe in his international travels. He saw beautiful sights that few have seen, from high above the clouds. He often spoke of the awe he felt in seeing the wonder of the Earth from above. After 34 years of service, safely transporting thousands of people all over the world, Danny retired from flying. After retirement, Danny continued to fly and his grandchildren loved seeing that yellow Piper Cub "Poppy's Plane" buzz overhead. Danny was caring and generous and focused on the needs of others. He put aside his career goals in order to ensure he had sufficient time to spend raising the love of his life, his daughter, Lauren. He spent much of his last years caring for his mother. He lived to make those around him happy, always giving of himself, no matter the cost. Danny was a dog lover and friend to animals in need. Danny supported animal shelters and donated to help care for abandoned dogs. Danny will be dearly missed by his dog, Josie, whom he took in and cared for as a stray, and his beloved grand-dogs, Millie and Lulu. Danny loved to hunt and fish. He was an excellent shot and taught his family lessons on shooting. He went on several big hunts and his trophies, including a giant bear, were enjoyed by hundreds who visited the local hardware store near his home. He loved watching westerns and cowboy television shows from his childhood. He enjoyed watching Georgia football, the Falcons and the Braves and spent time with his family rooting for a big win. Danny's favorite holiday was Christmas. He loved spending Christmas with his family and took the most joy in making Christmas special for his daughter and grandchildren. During the holidays, his home was always filled with the warm sounds of Christmas music. On his last Christmas, he spent hours with his grandchildren, watching the model train chug its way around the Christmas tree. Danny is survived by his daughter, Lauren Whitfield Ray, and her husband Ryan, grandchildren, Margaret and Whit, his sister Janet W. Harris, and her husband, Fred. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 27, at the Woodstock Funeral Home Chapel, with the Rev. Russell Murray officiating. Interment will be at the College Park Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 7-9 p.m., Friday, July 26, at the Woodstock Funeral Home. An online guest registry is available at In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Toys for Tots:
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on July 24, 2013
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