Obituary: Maureen Lee Whitney

Maureen Lee Whitney (Brownson).

Maureen Lee Whitney (Brownson).

Maureen Lee Whitney (Brownson) (1940-2017), age 76, of The El Rancho Motel in Williams, Arizona, passed away at Kechina Point Rehabilitation Hospital in Sedona on May 13, 2017.

Maureen was born on June 17, 1940 in Redondo Beach, California. She married the love of her life, Harry Robert Whitney at the age of 15. The couple settled in San Pedro, California, where they raised their three sons Harry Robert, Robert Edward and Mark Stacy.

Maureen was dedicated and a hard worker. She worked for years at the local Howard Johnsons while her husband Harry worked for the California Water Service. When their sons reached adulthood, they became motel owner/operators. They relocated to what would become Maureen’s favorite place in the whole world, South Lake Tahoe, owning a few small motels. Then, they relocated to South Dakota purchasing a 27 room motel with 40 apartments, they renamed The Fantasy Inn. When opting for a quieter life they moved to Douglas City, California owning a mobile home park for a few years subsequent to building a custom home in the quiet forest adjacent to the Trinity River with plans of retiring for good. However, Harry fell from a tractor while working on the construction of that home and never fully recovered. At 59 Maureen packed them up and purchased the El Rancho Motel in Williams, Arizona, which she owned and operated for 18 years.

She was feisty and had a good sense of humor. Maureen’s favorite beverage, the Mai Tai, was congruent to her personality. A quintessential Tiki Drink, tangy and delightful, with lots of punch and some optional bitters. “Maita’i roa ae!” (“Out of this world! The best!”) She will be missed by all that knew and loved her.

She was preceded in death by her granddaughter, Carolynne Lee and husband, Harry. She is survived by her three sons, Harry (Patricia), Robert (Dawn) and Mark; along with eight grandchildren, Danielle, Desiree, Ryan, Braden, Harry Robert, Heather, Mallory, Victoria and seven great grandchildren.

Maureen’s final wish was for her, Harry (1936-2009), and their loyal dog Misty’s remains to be scattered in her favorite place - South Lake Tahoe. Memorial donations can be made to Williams Senior Center Meals on Wheels 850 W. Grant St. Williams, Arizona 86046.


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