Joseph Timothy "Tim" Whiting passed away 4/25/21. Tim was born 7/18/47 in Juneau, Territory of Alaska, to Joe and Gerry Whiting. He spent much of his youth outdoors with his father fishing, hunting, and trapping from their 5 small cabins built with beachcombed lumber and straightened, used nails. There were 3 cabins on Admiralty Island, 1 up the Taku River, and 1 between Pt. Salisbury and Pt. Bishop.
At age 10 his mother drove Tim and his father to the end of Thane Road, and they hiked to Pt. Salisbury, then up the mountain to the timberline where Tim shot his first deer. They spent that night at the Salisbury cabin. Rather than hike back, they rowed their 10' skiff stored at the cabin back to Thane where his mother picked them up.
At age 12 he began commercial fishing from a 14' skiff with a 5hp motor using a handline and two fishing rods. From age 13 through 17 he spent summers living in a tent at Handtroller's Cove on Shelter Island and commercial fished with his father. At that time, they were glad to see another boat during the week, unlike boat traffic today. By age 15 Tim bought a 16' cabin boat with a 25hp motor. During winters after school, he worked at Erwin's Market on S. Franklin St. and spent time hunting and trapping with his father.
Tim graduated from JDHS with the great class of '65. After a semester at UofA Fairbanks where he "spent 10 years one winter," he worked as a delivery driver for City Cleaners and did janitorial work at night until going to work on the ferry Matanuska as a waiter when the ferries had complete dining rooms. He commercial fished on his weeks off. He joined the National Guard, went to Ft. Lewis, WA and, on two weeks' leave, he returned to Juneau and married Donna Rumery. They had two boys, Mike and Cory. After his return from 6 months' active duty, he worked at Erwin's Market delivering groceries January through June and then went to work for Foodland Market.
In 1969, after 2 years with Foodland, Tim went to work for the Juneau Fire Department, working 24 hours on and 48 off. He became the 3rd EMT in Juneau after attending the State Police Academy in Sitka. He fished commercially on his summer days off and worked for Trucano Construction during winters. In 1974 he went fishing full time. After a season of trolling, gillnetting, and longlining, he would take 2 months off to hunt, then worked December through March for Foodland Market.
In the early 1980's, Tim bought 4 acres at the original "Lucky Me" property on S. Douglas Island, cleared the land mostly by hand and built a cabin, later adding a workshop and guest house. He also made a trail to the top of the mountain and spent as much time as possible for 28 years hunting, fishing, and relaxing at the cabin.
In 1982 he was offered and accepted the job of Floor Manager of Foodland Market on the condition that he would have time off for gillnet and halibut openings. In early 1984, he and Donna divorced. He moved into the firehall, became a back-up driver, and helped on the ambulance as needed. He then worked full time at Foodland, eventually becoming part owner and president of the corporation. Under his tenure, Foodland did two major expansions, going from 22k to 43k sq. ft. and increased the staff from 87 to 133.
At his 1985 20th high school class reunion, he became reacquainted with classmate Barbara Anderson who had been living and working in Sacramento, CA. She happened to miss her plane for 3 days after the reunion, and 2 months later, Tim flew to Sacramento, helped Barb pack, and they drove to Juneau. Eight months later they were married and spent 35 wonderful years together.
In 1995 he and two partners received Foodland buy-out offers from 4 different buyers at a level they never expected. Rather than work the next 15 years, they decided to take them off. After the sale, he and his partners took 33 long-term employees plus 1 additional guest each to Disney World in Florida. He and Barb said it was like going on vacation with 33 of your best friends.
After selling Foodland, Tim constructed a building with 5 commercial units and 2 apartments near Costco. He also worked in the print shop at the legislature for 3 sessions. In their spare time, Tim and Barb drove through 49 of the 50 states, traveled through all the provinces of Canada and on all Alaska roads possible. He then bought a 32' Grand Banks boat ("Lucky Me Too") that he lovingly cared for. He and Barb spent 6 years cruising 12,000 miles of SE Alaska coastline between the Canadian border below Ketchikan and Cape Spencer heading north, exploring all the bays and harbors he missed while commercial fishing.
Tim loved deer hunting in Southeast Alaska, harvesting deer for his parents and seniors as well as his own family. The last climb to the top of the mountain was when he was 65. His favorite places to hunt besides Douglas Island were mainland Juneau, Gambier Bay and Tenakee.
Tim loved bringing his Washington and California grandchildren to Juneau. They loved spending time with Tim and Barb at the cabin, fishing, hiking, and getting wet and dirty. He later helped them through college, business ventures, and personal endeavors.
After selling the cabin and boat, Tim took friends on summer road trips, exploring Alaska and Canada, including Prudhoe Bay, Inuvik, Yellowknife, Eagle and Telegraph Creek. He and Barb traveled twice to Europe and spent a couple of months seeing Australia and New Zealand.
After 66 Alaska winters, Tim and Barb bought a house in Sun City Palm Desert, CA which became a stop for many classmates and friends traveling through. They spent December through March golfing with Juneau friends and enjoyed many live shows and performances in the area.
For the past many years, Tim enthusiastically worked on class reunions and kept classmates regularly updated through email. He was the glue that held the Class of '65 together for many years until his death.
In 2018 Tim was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He endured many treatments and a major operation over the next two years. In 2020 he decided quality of life was better than longevity. He was given 4-6 months to live and immediately started planning his quality time with family and friends. He chartered the Alaska Quest for some quality time on the water, organized 3 to 7 mile hikes with Juneau friends, and golfed in Palm Desert for 2 months before he and Barb finally returned home to be with his sons and friends in Juneau.
He considered himself the luckiest person in the world being raised in Juneau with the lifestyle and opportunities he was given and the wonderful friends he had throughout his life.
Tim was a lifetime member of the Juneau Golf Club, serving as past club president and treasurer, chairman of golf tournaments in Arizona, a member of Trail Mix of Juneau, Juneau Yacht Club, and Pioneers of Alaska.
He is survived by his wife Barbara, sons Mike (Chrisie) and Cory, brother Gene (Pam); 6 grandchildren: Krystal (Joe), Kyle (Ana), Cameron (Shi), Cheyenne (Jimmy), Nicole (Tyler), and Cole; 6 great grandchildren: Aeden, Rylen, Jace, Brynlee, Timothy James "TJ" and Iris; cousins: Ron (Liz), Donna (Jim), Susan (Brent), Steve (Sandy), Malcolm (Ann), and Nancy; in-laws: Sharon, Dale (Honey Bee), Lynette (Mitch), and Greg; numerous nieces and nephews, along with many lifelong friends from school and work.
The family is planning a celebration of Tim's life to be held at the Juneau Yacht Club, June 13, 2021 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. Please use your discretion for best Covid practices at that time.
The family can be reached at 3006 Foster Avenue, Juneau, AK 99801. Those who wish to honor Tim's memory may do so by donating to Juneau's Cancer Connection, PO Box 20329, Juneau, AK 99802; Hospice and Home Care of Juneau, 1803 Glacier Hwy., Juneau, AK 99801 or Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation, 3260 Hospital Drive #D, Juneau, AK 99801.
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Published by Juneau Empire from May 17 to Jun. 16, 2021.