Donations for the Southern Tier Symphony in memory of John can be made by using our support page for individual subscriptions. Click HERE for STS page or HERE.
ALLEGANY - John Cary Whitney, of 4056 Birch Run Road, passed away Monday (Nov. 17, 2014) at The Pines Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Olean.
Born on Dec. 2, 1942, in Glens Falls, he was the son of Maurice Cary and Betty Saunders Whitney. On Aug. 20, 1983, in Oviedo, Fla., he married Kim A. Mickelson, who survives.
Mr. Whitney was a graduate of Ithaca College, where he majored in music education. He later received a master's degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston, Mass.
He first taught music at the West Genesee School District and then for the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where he was a professor of music and directed the Jazz Lab Band and the university's Symphony Orchestra.
He moved to the Olean area to teach strings at the Olean City School District and direct its orchestra. Following that, he taught at the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts until his retirement.
Music was a lifelong passion, so after moving back to New York state, he founded the Southern Tier Symphony
. He directed the orchestra until the onset of his illness.
For his entire career, he was involved in musical associations, including the American Symphony Orchestra League; Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity, where he was named "Signature Sintonian" of the fraternity and acted as a province governor; the Music Educators National Conference; the American String Teachers Association and the Buffalo Musicians Association Union Local 92.
He was a deacon at the First Presbyterian Church in Olean and had been a member in recent years of the Olean Rotary Club
, for which he served as song master.
John is survived by his wife, Kim; one daughter, Sarah (Thomas) McCormack of Pelham Manor; one son, Ryan Whitney of Allegany; two granddaughters, Kaitlyn and Grace McCormack; and one sister, Marilyn "Dale" Kimura of King's Point, Fla.
Friends are invited to attend a celebration of life service to be held at 2 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 23, 2014) at the First Presbyterian Church, Olean. The Rev. Bruce Levine, pastor, will officiate. A reception will immediately follow in the church fellowship room. Burial will take place in Mansion Memorial Park in Ellenton, Fla.
Memorials may be made to the Olean Rotary Club, P.O. Box 127, Olean, NY 14760; or to the Southern Tier Symphony
, P.O. Box 501, Olean, NY 14760.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Casey, Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home, Olean.