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James C. Whitney

BLUE EARTH — James C. Whitney passed away Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, at Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont. A memorial service will take place 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, at the Hope United Methodist Church in Blue Earth, with Rev. Russ Jacobsen officiating. Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at Patton Funeral Home in Blue Earth, and one hour prior to the service Nov. 9 at the church. A private family burial will take place in Riverside Cemetery. Web tributes may be left at www.pattonfh.com.

Jim was born on May 18, 1934 in Lura Township to William and Nellie (Wallace) Whitney. He was a Delavan High School graduate and attended college at Augustana prior to enlisting in the United States Army. On September 14, 1957, he married the love of his life, Caroline Arndt. Together, the couple lived on a farm outside of Blue Earth, where he farmed side-by-side with his brother, Roger until Jim retired in 1996. He enjoyed many winters with Caroline at their home in Mesa, Arizona. 

Jim was a member of Hope United Methodist Church, the Lion’s Club, the American Legion, and served on the Blue Earth School Board from 1977-1991.  He also enjoyed attending music and sporting events to support his daughters and his grandchildren. In his spare time, Jim loved to travel, read, complete woodworking projects, fly his airplane, cruise around Blue Earth on his scooter, and cheer on his favorite team, the Minnesota Lynx.

He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Caroline; three daughters: Karna (Bob) Opeka of Libertyville, IL, Cathryn (Rod) Virnig of Golden Valley, MN, and Kristin (Eric) Lawatsch of Neenah, WI; nine grandchildren, R.J. and Natalie Opeka, Dan, Ryan, and Nate Virnig, and Jordyn, Jared, Jenna, and Brady Lawatsch; three great-grandchildren, Emilia and Carter Opeka, and Maya Virnig; brothers, William (Bernice) Whitney, Jr. of  Delavan, and Roger (Diane) Whitney of Winnebago, and many more nieces, nephews, friends, and family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Nellie; step-mother, Eleanor Whitney; brothers, Walter and Wayne Whitney; and grandson, Bradley Virnig. 

Rest in peace, Jim. We love you deeply, you will be missed.

Memorials to the Blue Earth Area School Foundation, 315 East Sixth Street, Blue Earth, MN 56013.

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