Benjamin "Ben" Whitney

  • Born: February 20, 1992
  • Died: May 13, 2020
  • Location: Portage, Michigan

Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home Cremation Care, Richland Chapel

9170 East D Avenue
Richland, MI 49083

Tel. (269) 629-6022

Tribute & Message From The Family

Benjamin ("Ben") Michael Whitney was born in February of 1992 in Galesburg, Illinois and returned to the arms of Jesus on May 13, 2020 in Portage, Michigan. He is survived by his parents, Craig and Judy Whitney of Richland, Michigan; his sister and nephew, Ashley and Grant Fair of Elkhart, Indiana; his sister, Bianca Whitney and her fiancé, Jeff Kammerman, of Madison, Wisconsin; his Grandfather, Gary Schulz of Eau Claire, Michigan; several aunts, uncles and cousins; and all of his artwork, his dance moves, his collection of weapons and his unending list of hobbies.

Ben graduated from Gull Lake High School in 2010 and was an artist by heart and trade. Ben made the most of his short time on earth, never setting limits on himself, and lived his life to the fullest. He was an incredibly talented glassblower, artist, and welder, with many of his pieces being displayed at KIA and sold nationally.

Ben will continue to stay with us through the silly memories we all have of him. We will see him everywhere within the things he loved - in paintings, sketches, glass and metal art, photography, travel, scuba diving, spear fishing, break dancing, bike riding, hot yoga, working out - the list never ends.

Ben changed the world with his infectious smile, creativity, genuine and caring soul, and his tender heart. Ben was loved by so many and loved so many more. He will be incredibly missed by everyone who loved him, and the world will never be the same without him.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, services will be limited to immediate family only. However, all that loved him can join us online for a live stream of the service via the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care Facebook page at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020. The video will also be uploaded here to his obituary page under the multi-media tab shortly after the services have been completed and links will be listed at bottom of his obituary. Memorials can be made directly to the family at this time. Personal messages for the family and memories of Ben may be placed at


Memorial Service Part 1:

Memorial Service Part 2:

Condolence & Memory Journal

As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends. So very sorry for the loss of your son.

Posted by Kathy Kollig - Friend   June 03, 2020

I cannot imagine a world without you ben. I loved you so much.

Posted by josh s - Grand Rapids, MI - Brother   May 19, 2020

Ben faced his battles. However, they we never an used as an excuse! Ben lived his life the way he saw fit! Very smart, talented, and now at peace.

Posted by Leah Owens - Friend   May 18, 2020

God has blessed me to have a friend like Ben. We skated, danced, palyed games and even did gardening together. He joined up with my crew and got to spend many hours just practicing and talking with him. I got to go to his art shows and he try to teach me how to blow glass. Ben rode your bike all the way across town to Henderson Castle for my wedding, and got to hold and play with my first son and got to share some talk over my newborn daughter this February. All this starting from working together at Stryker about 7-8 years ago and your love for the arts. One of the memories that stuck out to me over the last couple days is the wierd way that he almost always say I love you when he was taking off with his goofy personality. I gotten used to it after a while that I would be saying it back to him as well, and now I miss it. So it has been a great pleasure to get to know Ben. My condolences to his family for you will be missed. Much love from the McKoy Family.

-Brandon McKoy, Coworker, Crew member and friend, Portage Mi, May 18, 2020

Posted by Brandon McKoy - Portage, MI - Friend   May 18, 2020

Ben you were always a stellar dude. Your happiness was always apparent, and you were a good friend to those around you by spreading it whenever you could. My heart goes out to your family for losing such a loving son and brother. You had vivid memories you shared in reflection of your journeys in life, these videos know we'll cycle back to time and time as we miss you. Being thoughtful even after the fact, as always.

Posted by Danny Mitchell - Kalamazoo, MI - Friend   May 18, 2020

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Posted by Mark Ransom    May 18, 2020


Ben.....your presence has touched many, with your love, your humor and your art. You will be missed by those still here on this earth...I know you are in heaven in the loving arms of God.
Judy, Craig, Ashley and Bianca...know you are loved by God and all your friends and family. We love and support you and pray for peace. Hugs and love....Craig & Shari

Posted by Shari and Craig Bither - Coloma, MI - Friend   May 17, 2020


I was lucky enough to have seen the amazing glassblowing talent of Ben. I also worked with him for a bit. He was always so friendly and approachable. My heartfelt condolences to his parents.

Posted by marcia clark - battle creek, MI - Acquaintance   May 17, 2020

He was so funny and creative Im glad I graduated with him

Posted by Brie - Classmate   May 16, 2020

Ben, We're gonna miss you and all of your amazing art and creativity. I guess the world can only take so much of that originality. Like the lyrics of Vincent by Don McClean This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you. We love you. . We love all of you.

Posted by Glenna Sullivan - Pagosa Springs, CO - Family   May 16, 2020

Ben, I remember you best as a 3 year old cowboy in hat, boots, 6 shooters on your hips. You would not take them off even to sleep! I was so impressed that you did all those amazing things as a young man! I wish I had the chance to know you as a man.
Cuz Bunnies Craig, Jude, Ashley & B, We love you to the core. Search for peace. We share your burden...
All our love, Gary & Glenna

Posted by Gary Sullivan - Pagosa Springs, CO - Family   May 16, 2020

Oh Judy my heart is breaking for you, lots of hugs and prayers, you were always telling me fun story about Ben lots of prayers and peace please Lord for this beautiful family.

Posted by Brigid M Kean Kean - SCHOOLCRAFT, MI - Coworker   May 16, 2020

Oh beautiful Ben, so young. You made your mark on this place young man. My Cousin Craig and Judy, know what a special Whitney he was. A sphere of energy, both then and now. Blessings of healing, to his Mom, Dad, Sisters, and extended Family

Posted by Greg Whitney Sullivan - Punta Gorda, FL - Family   May 16, 2020

"Judy, Craig, and family,
We were so sad to hear of your loss. Our heartfelt condolences and our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with your family during this difficult time." Joe and Sue Karchunas, family friend, May 16, 2020

Posted by Joseph karchunas - BELDING, MI - Family Friend   May 16, 2020

Know that your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Jeramy Greenwood - Reedsburg, WI - Friend   May 16, 2020

Judy and Craig,
My thoughts and prayers are with both of you and your entire family.
I am extending an invitation for anytime you wish to talk or take a walk.
My deepest condolences
Aydda Aguilar

Posted by Aydda Aguilar - Richland, MI - Friend   May 16, 2020

Judy, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Posted by Carole Kiewiet - Coworker   May 15, 2020

Family Album