Whitney McClelland passed away on Aug. 1, 2009, at his home in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Whitney, who was born in New York City in 1942, spent most of his youth in Palm Beach, Florida. He later became very active in the Aspen community during the 1970s and 80s. His interest in and devotion to the Roaring Fork Valley never waned. Notably, Whitney restored the old train depot in Basalt (now the Alpine Bank). He had many business interests and as many friends in the Aspen area. Notably, he was once one of the co-owners of the Wildcat Ranch and played on Aspen’s local rugby team, “The Gentlemen of Aspen”.
Whitney graduated from the Kent School in Connecticut. He attended the University of Pennsylvania but soon transferred to the University of Florida in Gainesville. A member and letterman of the Gator football team, Whitney played as back-up punter and scout quarterback. This Florida team gave Bear Bryant’s Crimson Tide their first loss at home.
Whitney then graduated from the University of Florida Law School. He served in the U.S. military during these years – in the Marine Corps Reserves – where he completed boot camp, SC and OCS at Quantico, VA. He retired as a captain in the Corps.
Whit was proud to have come from an illustrious American family dating in this country from 1635. The McClellands had many business concerns in which he was involved, including their beef cattle ranches in Palatka, Florida and Costa Rica and their oil and gas drilling interests in American West, Louisiana and Argentina. He then founded both a recreational vehicle manufacturing company and a successful advertising agency. Finally, he founded the Golf Guide Group, Inc., a publisher of golf books, score cards and course guides as well as the Viewers Guide to the PGA.
Whitney is survived by his wife Rena, his stepson and fiancee, Gavin Blackmer and Kendra Kimball, and by many friends in Aspen and Florida.
“Lord Whitney” was a bon vivant and raconteur extraordinaire who delighted his friends in the Roaring Fork Valley with stories aplenty. A small gathering in celebration of Whitney’s life will be held Saturday, Aug. 22, at 5 p.m., at the Pine Creek Cook House, 11399 Castle Creek Road, south of Aspen.
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