Stret Whitting, ‘always there to help people,’ dies


Strettle F. Whitting Jr., a former resident of Glen Head and Montauk, died on March 30 in Jensen Beach, F.L. He was 78.

Affectionately known as Stret, Whitting owned and operated Whitting Funeral Home in Glen Cove with his twin brother Scott for almost 40 years. His parents started the business over 75 years ago, and the brothers joined them after high school, attending embalming school and completing a residency with their father. “I think he always thought he’d follow in his father’s footsteps,” said his wife, Joan.

Joan and Stret met at North Shore High School when they were 15, and had been together ever since. They enjoyed a long and wonderful 54 years of marriage. “He was very kind, gentle, a hard worker,” Joan said. “He was always there to help people.” The couple shared many adventures, taking trips to Alaska and Europe and boating in the Caribbean.

“He was a real, avid, dedicated fisherman,” said Whitting’s identical twin, Scott. “We used to do a lot of fishing and scuba diving. We would finish work at night and put our wetsuits on and go scuba diving for lobsters.”

The Whitting brothers did almost everything together. The only time they were really separated was when Scott was in the military. “We lived, worked and played together,” Scott said.

The brothers were very active members of the Glenwood Fire Department, both serving as president and secretary. Stret was named secretary emeritus. The brothers were even on the Glenwood Greenhorns, the department’s drill team and featured on the Wide World of Sports back in the day.

Stret and Scott were also members of the Matinecock Rod and Gun Club. They were known for their handyman work and were members of the Free and Accepted Masons Lodge of Glen Cove. They did a great deal of the construction work at the funeral home too, including concrete block work. The brothers even built their own fishing boats.

After the brothers passed down the funeral home business to Whitting’s sons, Whitting and Joan moved out to their summer home in Montauk to live in the beach town year-round. Montauk was a great fit for Whitting; he was able to pursue his boating and fishing passions. He started the charter boat business Wake Boat Charter, and was president of the Charter Boat Captains Association.

After living in Montauk for several years, the Whittings moved back to Glen Head, where Stret became the oldest launch boy at Sea Cliff Yacht Club. They also started snowbirding in Florida, like so many New Yorkers do. Eventually the Whittings moved down to Jensen Beach, F.L. full time, where they had been living for almost 10 years.

When people ask Scott what his brother was like, he’s quick to say, “He was just like me! We balanced each other out. We had a lot of good times and a lot of hard work together.”

“He just had a generally nice way about him that people really liked,” Joan said. “It’s amazing. He was very supportive.”

Strettle Whitting Jr. is survived by his wife, Joan, and children, Codge, David, and Drew. Also his brother Scott.