Saturday, December 26, 2015

Hilda A. (Doerler) Whitney

BELMONT, NY – Hilda A. (Doerler) Whitney, 80, passed away on Friday (December 25, 2015) unexpectedly at her home. Born July 31, 1935 at Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville, Hilda was predeceased by her parents, Karl and Helene (Ziegler) Doerler. On August 15, 1959, Hilda married Robert “Bob” Whitney. Their five children are John (Laura) Whitney of East Aurora, Kathryn (William) Lucey of Middletown, RI, James (Patricia) Whitney of Belmont, Donald (Sharon) Whitney of Willowick, OH, and Michael Whitney of Belmont. Grandchildren are Aleah (Michael) Kirchner, Brian Whitney, Bradley Whitney, William Lucey IV, Tucker Lucey, Benjamin Whitney, Lief Whitney (deceased), Simon Whitney, and step-grandsons, Jacob Grisewood and Joseph (Katelyn) Grisewood. At her 80th birthday celebration, Hilda had an opportunity to meet her first great-grandchild, Cameron, son of Aleah and Michael. Hilda is also survived by siblings William (Patricia) Doerler of Pennington, NJ and Ilse (John “Al”) Kitchen of Munds Park, AZ, and many nieces and nephews. She remained in close contact with extended family in Germany and Austria.

She attended Friendship Central School and Buffalo State College where she studied home economics education and sang in the college choir. She taught briefly at Mexico, NY High School and at the former Belmont Central School and was a regular substitute teacher at Belmont for many years in addition to working with Bob on their extensive flower gardens and Feathers Creek Road sheep farm.

Many Belmont elementary students had their first up-close experience with lambs and other farm livestock through school trips to visit Hilda at the farm. Hilda loved her flower gardens nearly as much as she loved babies.  She was a seamstress and always had dozens of knitting or crocheting projects in various stages of completion. Hilda was a strong supporter of 4H, teaching sewing and judging apparel or cooking entries at the Allegany County Fair for many, many years. She volunteered countless hours serving the Jones Memorial Hospital Auxiliary as a member of the Lilac Twig and was the Auxiliary’s secretary. Hilda was an active member of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Belmont and was a coordinator of the annual rummage until the church recently closed. She became an active member of St. John’s Church in Wellsville after St. Philip’s closed.

Friends are invited to call on Tuesday, December 29th from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Inc., 17 Schuyler Street in Belmont. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, December 30th, at 11:00 am at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 12 East Genesee Street in Wellsville.  In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Jones Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. To leave online condolences, please visit


  1. Heard of dear Hilda's passing whilst in church Christmas morn at St. John's. STILL in shock over this news. There will never EVER be another of kind woman with dedication to her family, faith, friends & community that was very rare indeed. Miss you Hilda dearest...THANKS for showing us what true love and devotion really looks like. Loving you still....from "Da Guys" = Mike & Greg

  2. So sorry to hear that such an important person is gone. I believe that she gave me my first up-close encounter with sheep at the farm. So sorry for the loss to her family, friends and admirers.