October 30, 1939 – August 27, 2018
We are profoundly saddened to announce the passing of long-time Vernon resident, Whitney Buggey. Whitney passed away quietly on August 27, 2018 where he was surrounded by his wife and family. Whitney is survived by his wife, Patricia, son, Bryan (Wendi) and daughter Valri (Peter). Whitney had 8 grandchildren (Meagan, Matthew, Melanie, Jasmine, Nate, Jake, Courtney, and Cassidy) and his first great grandchild, Logan.
Whitney was born in Brandon, Manitoba, on October 30, 1939, as the only child of Lorne and Belle Buggey. At 2 years old, the family moved to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, where he spent his entire childhood. Whitney graduated from Portage Collegiate (the local high school) in 1957.
Whitney moved to Winnipeg to earn an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Manitoba from 1957 to 1960. It was during his studies that Whitney fell in love with his life-long partner, Patricia (Pat). Pat and Whitney met in 1960 and married in the summer of 1962. Within a year, Whitney and Pat started a family and had two children born 13 months apart.
In the early 1960s, Whitney was a teacher, a graduate student, and an officer in the local militia. He taught at Portage Collegiate and Transcona Collegiate. He returned to the University of Manitoba to earn a Master’s Degree in Economics. He held the position of 2nd Lieutenant with the 26th Field Artillery Regiment in Portage la Prairie and the Fort Garry Horse Regiment in Winnipeg.
While attending a wedding in Vernon in 1964, Whitney and Pat recognized the area as an exceptional place to raise a young family. Inspired by the beautiful setting, Whitney applied for and was awarded a teaching position at Clarence Fulton High School starting in the Fall of 1965. In 1967, they purchased a lot and built a home overlooking Kalamalka Lake with spectacular views of the Coldstream Valley. They have lived there ever since.
Whitney taught at Fulton High School for 3 years before being offered a position to teach economics at the new Okanagan College, located in the Mission Hill army barracks. Whitney taught economics for 12 years before taking on the role of Director of the Vernon campus in 1980 at which time the campus was moved to a new facility overlooking Kalamalka Lake. Whitney held the Director position for 18 years and completed his 30-year career at Okanagan College in 1998. Whitney was widely recognized by his peers and students as an exceptional teacher, administrator and leader. One of his highlights was introducing the Student Success Program to the college students which helped them better prepare and succeed in college and university studies.
Whitney was involved in the Vernon community as a volunteer and leader and participated in a variety of organizations including the Vernon Rotary Club, Community Futures Board, Vernon Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, and the BC College of Dental Hygienists. He was also a founding member of the local Sage Investment Club he helped create in the late 60s and an original founding member of the Predator Ridge Golf Resort.
Whitney loved the Vernon lifestyle which included spending lots of time with his young family at Silver Star and Sovereign Lakes in the winters and hiking in the Rockies and spending time at his Okanagan Lake cabin in the summers. Whitney was an avid sailor, as well. In 1989, Whitney and Pat took a year’s sabbatical from work to travel around the world.
In his retirement, Whitney kept up an active lifestyle where he enjoyed spending time with his wife and friends traveling the world, golfing at Predator Ridge and sailing up and down Okanagan Lake. Whitney loved writing and published two novels. Whitney and his wife eventually became “snowbirds” enjoying an active lifestyle in Mesa, Arizona, every winter.
Family and friends will remember him as an outstanding role model and quiet leader who had high standards of integrity and patience. He was a positive thinker and a grateful man who recognized and practiced the importance of a balanced life-style. Whitney was also incredibly romantic and adored his wife, Pat,….they recently celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary on August 18th, 2018.
The family would like to thank the nurses and doctors of Vernon Jubilee Hospital for the wonderful care that they have received over the past three years. In lieu of flowers, a donation in memory of Whitney can be made to Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation (www.vjhfoundation.org).
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.