George Whitney Irish, 100 years old, of Canton, NY, passed away on November 28, 2015. Whitney was born in North Chatham, NY, on September 25, 1915 to Mabel and Leland Wesley Irish. As a boy he was very active in 4-H. He graduated from Martin Van Buren High School, Kinderhook, NY, in 1933, and Cornell University College of Agriculture in 1939. At Cornell he was a member of Scorpion (now TKE), Scarab, ROTC, and the Cornell Band.
After college Whitney returned to the family farm, Fruitlands, near Kinderhook in Columbia County. Whitney, his brother Leland, Jr., and their father grew apples for many years, and later converted to dairy. Whitney participated in local town of Kinderhook and Columbia County politics, and was a member of The Power Squadron and North Chatham United Methodist Church. He enjoyed playing mellophone in the Ghent Summer Band, singing with local barbershop groups, raising bees, and growing flowers, vegetables, and nut trees.
In 1977, Whitney married Elizabeth (Betty) Linden. Together, Whitney and Betty moved to Florida for many years, then returned to the North Country to be close to family. Whitney was an active member of the Canton Goldenaires barbershop group, and the First Presbyterian Church. Whitney and Betty enjoyed numerous trips, including Hawaii, Alaska, and Israel, as well as trips to visit family in Colorado, California, Massachusetts, and Canada.
Whitney was predeceased by his wife, Betty, his brother John, his sister Margaret, and his brother Leland. Whitney is survived by Roger (Audrey) Linden and Wade (Mary) Linden, his nephew John (Nancy) Irish, and his nieces Margaret (George) Janson, Molly (Karl) Wielgosz, Leslie Haines, Linda (Rusty) Hay and their many children and grandchildren. Many of his family gathered in Canton in September of this year for a joyous celebration of Whitney’s 100th birthday.