Ellis Eugene Whiting, 85, passed away peacefully surrounded by family in Sonoma, CA on May 11, 2016. He was preceded in death by his son, Eric Chandler Whiting.

Ellis was born in Springview, NE on April 2, 1931 to George and Zollie Whiting. He grew up in poverty in North Platte, NE. With big dreams he joined the Navy, served his country as a Navy pilot and earned a Navy ROTC scholarship, eventually obtaining a doctorate in physics and becoming the Chief Scientist at NASA. Through all this he dedicated his life to community service. He was an active board member of Friends Outside, a big brother with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Inc. organization, as well as the person who would come over and help a neighbor or a family member at the drop of a hat.

He is survived by his loving, life partner, Lavawn Branz Whiting; sisters, Bess (Everett) Shively of Mesa, AZ and Carolyn (Gary) Rickett of North Platte, NE; brother, Ronald (Marilyn) Whiting of Mesa, Arizona; daughters, Vicki (Jim Silverman) Whiting and Cheryl (Arto) Toivola; and four cherished grandchildren, Kristopher Toivola of Mountain View, CA; Maxime Simonet of Atlanta, GA; Jacob Silverman of Vancouver, BC and Alison (Andrew Ellis) Toivola of Denver, CO.

A small family memorial is being planned. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Friends Outside, P.O. Box 4085, Stockton, CA 95210, or www.friendsoutside.org.