The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

LeRoy Whitehill



LeRoy Lande Whitehill died peacefully on February 14, 2014.

He was born in San Diego, California on March 24, 1927, and grew up in the Centerville and Goldendale area. He is survived by Frances his wife of 50 years; sons Lande and Paul; and sister, VeraBeth Milychewski of Vancouver, Wash .; grandchildren Adam, Roslyn and Anika, great-grandchild Viviana and several nieces and nephews.

His parents, Vera Lande and Ed Whitehill, moved to Centerville when LeRoy was one year old. He attended the Centerville one room school and graduated from Goldendale High School in 1944.

The family, in addition to his parents, included his brother Pat and sister Vera Beth, uncles Dr. Bill Lande and Walter Lande, aunt Mayme Lande Ahola and cousins, Virginia Ahola Fahlenkamp, Anna June Ahola White and Myrna Ahola Isaacson. Living in Wapato and then Seattle, allowed him to visit the Centerville and Goldendale area quite often, and attended many of the Centerville school reunions. Aunt Merce Lande in Centerville was the favorite visiting place.

LeRoy was drafted into the military during the Korean conflict. He was stationed in Frankfurt Germany and not sent to Korea. When the induction papers came in for all of the draftees, his papers were missing, and as a result the later papers stationed him in Europe. After the service, he worked for the Lincoln Mutual Bank in Wapato, and the National Bank of Commerce for a number of years.

Being stationed in Germany allowed Le Roy to travel through Europe during time off from military duties. He developed a passion for traveling and took many photographs that filled many albums. The affordable opera performances that Germany offered, stirred his passion for the theater. He continued to attend opera performances in Seattle with his wife Frances. He also enjoyed plays and concerts and of course continued to travel throughout the United States with family, hiking with his sons, and more travel abroad that included Finland, Russia, Romania, Germany, France and Italy. He left an enormous amount of photographs and memorabilia.

Although very fond of traveling, his place was always the Klickitat valley. He was proud of his Finnish heritage, and became involved in the Finnish community in Seattle by volunteering as treasurer of Finlandia Foundation Seattle Chapter and joining the Tanhuajat, a Finnish folk dance group. After retirement, LeRoy provided bookkeeping support to the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle for many years.

Gardening was another passion. He enjoyed growing vegetables and flowers and worked three public patches that produced enough vegetables for family, friends and the food bank.

LeRoy had a full life, and we will miss him.


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