David W. Whitener Sr., “ahkwateed”
On Friday, November 2, 2012, David Wayne Charles Whitener Sr. of the Squaxin IslandNation passed away peacefully with family at his side after a long, courageous journey with Parkinson’s disease. Dave was 78. He was born on January 6, 1934 to Percy W. and Ethel (Richards) Whitener at home in Kamilche. He graduated from Irene S. Reed in 1951, served in the US Army, and obtained his Master’s Degree in Education from Western Washington University. In his younger days, Dave worked as a logger and in the construction business and enjoyed fishing with his family in Alaska. He married Elaine Moore in 1957 and they later divorced. Dave was principle and teacher at Southside School from 1965 until 1969 and was also the principal in Neah Bay for a time as well. From there, he carries a tribal name in the Makah language. Mr. Whitener was dedicated to education and the Native American heritage. He was faculty in the Native American Studies Program at Evergreen State College for 17 years and was co-convener of that program for several years. He was instrumental in the planning and building of the Evergreen Long House on campus, which opened in 1995. Retirement in 1996 did not slow Dave down. He served on the Board of Indian Affairs, Olympic National Forest Advisory Board, Mason General Hospital Board and was the Deputy executive director for the Squaxin Island Tribe. He served in many capacities on the Squaxin Island tribal council. Part of Dave’s ancestry is Tsimshian from Alaska; he is of the Raven Clan. Dave was a member of the St. David’s Episcopal Church of Shelton and the Toastmasters. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, and traveling, especially for Indian affairs and cultural events, smoking salmon, and spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Barbara (Greene) Whitener, Shelton; sons, David (Sotheary) Whitener Jr, Olympia, and Jonathon (Marty) Thompson, Seattle; daughters, Connie Whitener, Parker, AZ, Mitzie “Rhonda” Whitener, Shelton, Annie-Beth (Cameron) Henry, Shelton, and Jessica (Nathan) Hoppe, Helena, MT; sisters, Ruby Fuller, Shelton and Mary Bell Whitener, Shelton; his brother, Donald Lynn, Shelton; nine grandchildren, one great grandchild and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister Martha. A celebration of Dave’s life will be held at the Little Creek Event Center on November 15, 2012 at 11:30. Donations can be made to the Evergreen State College Foundation; with reference to David Whitener Sr Scholarship Fund, Olympia, WA. [At this time there is a matching grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.]
Dave was an amazing man who left an unimaginable legacy and will truly be missed by all that knew him.