Cover photo for George Whitney's Obituary
George Whitney Profile Photo
1944 George 2023

George Whitney

October 31, 1944 — January 6, 2023

George Robert Whitney 1944-2023

George grew up travelling to Banff every summer in the 1950s with his parents Moxie and Jennifer, and an ever-expanding number of siblings. While Moxie’s orchestra played at the Banff Springs Hotel, George played with wildlife. This set the stage for his adventurous life.

In his youth George was a cowhand on the Bar U Ranch in southern Alberta, completed a wildlife management degree at the University of Utah, and spent his spare time in the mountains hunting and fishing. Soon after graduating, George joined the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, where he held a wide range of posts that challenged and delighted him. From Regional Biologist in Kemptville, Superintendent of Algonquin Provincial Park, Director of Fisheries, and Commissioner of the US/Canada åGreat Lakes Fisheries Commission and finally as Director of a Canadian aid program designed to protect and preserve Zimbabwe’s natural resources. He retired from government in 1996, but remained in Zimbabwe until 2008 where he regularly went on “safari” while running an expansive game ranch.

George was a complex man, who explored a wide range of activities. He had an encyclopedic mind, with a renaissance form of knowledge and interests. However, some of these interests tested the limits of his family’s tolerance and understanding. For instance, George had a fascination with firearms and explosives that as a young boy found expression in blowing out a bathroom window in the family home with a projectile that landed in a neighbors’ yard, to black-powder cowboy action shooting as a retiree. Another of his fascinations was animal husbandry. George adored his pets, be it a rattlesnake, hooded rat, hyena, lion cub, or Grace, his beloved African Gray Parrot.

One of his greatest passions was Rhodesian Ridgebacks. He soon became a respected owner and breeder of ridgebacks and their African bloodlines. George co-wrote “A Guide to the Rhodesian Ridgeback in Canada”, the standard for the breed. His kennel “Shumbatsvuku” won numerous awards, with people from around the world vying for the opportunity to own one of his dogs.

He loved people as much as he loved animals. George had a wide group of friends, including his new friends at Carp Commons, that will remember him as an adventurous outdoorsman who loved to have fun … or as he called it … ‘drama’. George was seldom seen near a dull moment.

He is predeceased by his parents Moxie and Jennifer, brothers Kenneth (ex Marlaina) and Robert, sister Carolyn, and nephew Jacob. He is survived by brothers Paul (Liz), Brian (Terry), Randall (ex. Monica), and brother-in-law Ian, and nephews and nieces Brodie and Jamie (Kenneth and Marlaina), Rob and Greg (Carolyn and Ian), Lauren and Samuel (Paul and Liz), Alexander, Courtland and Stuart (Randall and Monica), Lindsey and Jesse Lee (Brian and Terry).

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