Whitehouse, Dr. Keith

Dr. Keith Whitehouse, 89, of Morenci, Mich., died June 1, 2009.

He was born Jan. 22, 1920, in Parma, Mich., and raised in Albion. He met his wife, Lorene, at Albion College and she survives.

Keith completed medical school at the University of Michigan, and after serving  in the Navy at the Pacific Theater during World War II, he and Lorene settled in her hometown of Morenci.

Dr. Keith practiced medicine in Morenci and the surrounding area, and later went into partnership with Dr. Diccion until 1983. He knew and respected his patients and their families and graciously responded to middle-of-the-night calls. He and his “little black bag” traveled the country roads on house calls too numerous to mention.

Many people in the area can say they were delivered by “Doc” Whitehouse and many people were patients at Morenci Area Hospital—a facility he helped bring to reality in the early 1960s.

Many folks can say they tapped a toe to his lively Dixieland jazz music, with Keith at the piano and his musician pals rounding out the band.

Shortly before Keith retired, the couple moved from Summit Street to Mulberry Road and began serious gardening on Birdland Farm where he dubbed himself the “Park Ranger.” He and Lorene planted and nourished tiny seedlings that have grown to tall pine trees that grace the property. They also put up jars of tomato sauce and rhubarb, mowed acres of yard and hiked the woods.

Keith loved and enjoyed his many friends and his family. At the top of his list of loves, unquestionably, was his wife of nearly 68 years, Lorene, whom he loved with tenderness and devotion.

Besides his wife, Keith is survived by his children, Bill, Jim and Susie; grandchildren TJ, Jill, Brad, Scott and Meredith Whitehouse, Kathy Westfall and Betsy Jeffrey; and great-grandchildren Anthony, Sam, Mariana, Travis, Isaac, Walker and Oscar.

A memorial service is scheduled at 11 a.m. Friday, June 5, at the First Congregational Church in Morenci. Visitation is planned from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday at the Congregational Church.

In lieu of flowers, consider a contribution to the Morenci Education Foundation, 500 E. Page St., Morenci, Michigan 49256 or the First Congregational Church, 104 W. Locust St., Morenci, Michigan 49256, or plant a tree.