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Life Story / Obituary
Tracey Delano Whitten, of Traverse City, passed away on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at the age of 84.
Tracey was a strong willed, fiercely loyal, quick witted, humble, and hardworking family man. Born on the George Wepking Farm in Maple City, MI to Merle and Ethel Whitten (Tobin), Tracey graduated from Maple City High School in 1954. Upon graduation he joined the United States Army, serving at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX until being honorably discharged in 1957.
Shortly after returning to Northern Michigan, Tracey met and married his wife of 60 years, Shirley (Zeits). Together they raised four children, often spending memorable weekends camping as a family on their Lime Lake property.
Tracey spent 27 years working for Traverse City Iron Works before moving on to and eventually retiring from the Grand Traverse County Road Commission. Upon retirement Tracey could often be found cruising the neighborhood on his golf cart or on his tractor tending to his small farm. Tracey enjoyed providing fresh produce to the community at his roadside vegetable stand, often charging nothing more than a friendly conversation to his customers.
Tracey was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus, the Elks Lodge 323 and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He enjoyed following all of Michigan’s professional and collegiate sports teams, particularly the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions. Tracey had an insatiable sweet tooth, was a tremendous euchre player, and made fast friends with anybody he encountered with his charm.
Tracey is preceded in death by his parents Merle and Ethel, his in-laws Dallas and Evelyn (Zeits), and his sister Connie and her husband Richard (Youker).
Tracey is survived by his wife Shirley and their children Steve (Carolyn), Mike (Debbie), Greg, and Kim, his grandchildren Brent (Jennifer), Jason (Kristin), Brooke, Jessica (Andrew), Jenny (Scott), and Janna (Jake), his great grandchildren Grace, Joshua, Malakai, Sage, Brenna, Kali’a, Shane, Kinley, Rilynn, Whyatt, and Jackson, his siblings Dennis (Pam), Gary (Margaret), and Sandra, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, March 17 at St. Francis Catholic Church. The family will meet and greet friends one-hour prior. Memorial Contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association,P.O. Box 15829, Arlington, VA 22215 or to St. Francis Catholic Church, Building Campaign Fund, 1025 S. Union St., Traverse City, MI 49684. Please visit www.lifestorytc.com to share your thoughts and more.