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John R. Whitey

July 25, 1936 ~ February 11, 2018 (age 81)

A memorial service will be held at a later date for John Richard Whitey, 81, of Coos Bay. Private cremation rites were held at Ocean View Memory Gardens in Coos Bay. Private inurnment will be held in Phoenix, Ariz.

John was born July 25, 1936 in Detroit, Mich., to John J. Whitey and Matilda (Bulvelchak) Dudash. He passed away Feb. 11, 2018 in Coos Bay.

John was born and raised in Detroit. He attended military school at the Hall of Divine Child in Monroe, Mich., and All Saints and Western High Schools in Detroit, Mich. John loved and excelled in playing sports, especially basketball and baseball. He enlisted in the United States Army and served in the 5th Armored Division from 1954-1956 being stationed in the Panama Canal. Upon discharge from the U.S. Army, John went to work at Reliance Steel in Detroit, Mich., where he became plant superintendent. John continued his work in the Detroit steel industry working for Bean Steel and Cass Steel Strapping.

John married Margaret Sanok of Lincoln Park July of 1959. Marge was the love of his life and matriarch of the family. She was his true guardian angel in the latter stages of his life while battling health issues. Their marriage and commitment to each other and their family was paramount to their children.

Two family vacations to Phoenix, Ariz. confirmed, to John and Marge, they would sell their Riverview, Mich. home and relocate. In the summer of 1978, John and Marge moved their family to Phoenix for the next chapter of their lives. John continued in the steel business founding and operating Adobe Strapping, Southwest Strapping and Arizona Packaging Supplies. He continued following his love of sports during this time working at Greenway High School in Phoenix. First, driving athletic teams to their sporting competitions throughout Arizona and then as equipment manager for the athletic department.

In 1997, John retired from Greenway. In retirement, John and Marge relocated to Lake Havasu City, Ariz. in 2001 and then finally settling in 2012 to Coos Bay to be closer to family.

Besides his love for Michigan and Arizona sports teams, John’s true love were his three children, two granddaughters and one great-granddaughter. He tirelessly followed their careers, sports and various activities and was always there supporting them. John enjoyed traveling across country in their RoadTrek motorhome visiting family in Detroit, California and Oregon, as well as family and friends along the way. John’s willingness to speak and talk with anyone, anytime along with his gregarious laugh, made him larger than life. If you were fortune to meet John, you would not forget him. If you knew John, he surely impacted your life. John was a man of faith always praying and trusting in the Lord. He will be truly missed by all family and friends but we rest in the truth and promise he is in his eternal home in Heaven.

John is survived by his wife, Margaret Whitey of Coos Bay; son, Jeffrey and wife, Tracy Whitey of Coos Bay; daughters, Cindy and husband, Jim Trombley of Riverview, Mich., and Lynn Whitey of Moorpark, Calif.; granddaughters, Kristen and husband, Joseph Hatzl of Riverview, Mich., Hannah Whitey of Coos Bay; great-granddaughter, Madelyn Hatzl of Riverview, Mich; and brother, Robert and wife, Marcella Whitey of Woodhaven, Mich.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother Joseph Dudash.

Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131.

Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at


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