Duane ‘Dee’ Whiteman, of Preble passed away on January 12, 2021 in the Guthrie Cortland Medical Center following a brief illness at the age of 89.
Born October 28, 1931, he was the son of the late Charles and Anna Sevier Whiteman. Dee moved to Preble at the age of 9 to live with his aunt and uncle, Herman and Eva Whiteman, following the death of his mother.
Following his graduation from Homer Academy in 1950, he worked on the family farm before enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1951.
He faithfully served in the Air Force during the Korean War as a MP at Air Force bases in Florida and Newfoundland. He was honorably discharged in 1955.
Dee became a Sheriff's deputy in 1956, serving 11 years, until becoming Undersheriff to then Sheriff Ken McEvoy from 1967-1978. He was elected Cortland County Sheriff in 1978 and served as Sheriff for 21 years retiring in 1999.
Sheriff Whiteman was responsible for many programs under his leadership at the Sheriff's Department including Operation Call-In, a county wide drug task force, Stop DWI, D.A.R.E. and the department’s K-9 unit. He was also instrumental in a new jail being built in 1990.
For his many years of service to Cortland County, he was named Lawman of the Year in 1999.
Dee was also a 71-year member of the of the Preble Fire Department, serving the department for 7 years in Chief ranks and one year as the department Chief. He also served 15 years as Fire Commissioner.
Surviving are his four loving daughters, Tina Whiteman of Cortland; Lisa (Thomas) Bongiovi of Hawley, PA; Deanna (Steven) Romans of Kings Park; and Amanda Whiteman of Preble; six grandchildren, Nicholas and Olivia Bongiovi, Dylan Whiteman and Duane, Anna and Johnathan Romans; a sister, Jane Simons Davenport; his brothers and sisters-in-law, Bernice Whiteman; Cheryl Webb Whiteman; Bradley (Lois) Wafner Baldwin; Adrian "Butch" (Nancy) Randolph Baldwin; Brenda Baldwin Brown Knickerbocker; Kathy (John) Baldwin Holcomb; Barry “Buzzy” Baldwin; Diane (Paul) Baldwin Banfield and Ricky (Vicki) Baldwin as well as several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by: his wife of 56 years, Victoria “Sue” Baldwin Whiteman in 2018; two brothers, Charles and Paul Whiteman, as well as a brother and sister-in-law, James and Joan Whiteman.
Calling hours will be held from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at the Donald L. Barber Funeral Home, 5016 US Route 11, Homer, NY. We will be following NY State COVID-19 Guidelines. Masks must be worn at all times; social distancing practices will also be in place. During the funeral home visitation only a certain number of visitors will be allowed in the funeral home chapel at a time, so please be patient and prepared to wait outside.
Funeral services will be private and at the convenience of the family.
Interment, with military honors, will be delayed until spring in Elmwood Cemetery, Preble.
Memorial contributions in Mr. Whiteman’s name may be directed to the Preble Fire Department, 1911 Preble Rd., Preble, NY 13141 or to the NYS Sheriff’s Summer Camp, 9825 East Bluff Dr., Penn Yan, NY 14527. The Sheriff’s Summer Camp provides economically challenged children an opportunity to enjoy a week of summer camp free of charge.
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