Michael David Whitmarsh,79, died peacefully Jan. 25, surrounded by family in his King City home. There will be a funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Southeast Portland. It will be preceded by the rosary at 10:30 a.m. A reception will follow.

Mr. Whitmarsh was born Oct. 3, 1940, in Omaha, Nebraska. He attended Tigard high school, married his wife Connie in 1959, and joined the Navy as a submariner. He served on the USS Caiman SS-323, USS Salmon SS-573, and the USS Tecumseh SSBN-568 and was honorably discharged May 25, 1967. He entered the civilian workforce where he wore the hats of electronic technician, UPS supervisor, and real estate Broker. Ultimately, the Whitmarshes teamed up to start Whitmarsh and Associates , a successful investment real estate and property management firm.

The couple raised seven children in a loving and caring home. Mr. Whitmarsh’s passion for family shone in his infectious, positive attitude. He was driven by his strong faith in God. This translated to the way he treated others, always conveying that you can accomplish anything.

He was an active member of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, serving on many boards and committees.

Upon the founder’s retirement and at his request, Mr. Whitmarsh took over Innovative Housing, Inc. (IHI), a firm whose mission is providing low income housing and affordable homeownership for low-income buyers. He took on this task pro-bono and brought new development projects and expansion to IHI. He stepped down as president of the board but remained an active member.

In 2005 IHI named their newly renovated building after him. The Whitmarsh Building sits at 803 SW Morrison street in Portland.

Mr. Whitmarsh had a love for auto racing, including driving his Porsche 944 at Portland International Raceway and training other drivers to do the same. If he couldn’t drive his own car, he was watching racing from the stands. He also enjoyed playing golf and watching the professionals.

He was also passionate about coffee, chocolate, and especially donuts on Sunday.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Connie; their children Ronna Spigariol, Mike (Shelli)

Whitmarsh, Liza (Oliver) Passemard, Jodi (Mike) Hamm, Ken Whitmarsh, Darcy Whitmarsh, and Korin (Bryan) Schmitz, their fifteen grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

Mr. Whitmarsh is alsosurvived by his siblings, Patrick Whitmarsh and Beverly Whitmarsh, and their families.

Mr. Whitmarsh was preceded in death by his parents, James Whitmarsh and Rita Payne; by his sister and brother, Susan Whitmarsh and Edward Mount; and, tragically, two great grandchildren.

Mr. Whitmarsh was quick to engage those who were struggling, often giving them work or renting to them on his intuition. He affected dozens of people in this way. He did not have to understand to care. He did not have to agree to love. He did not have to pity to help. He did not have to see to believe.

Burial will be at Willamette National Cemetery on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 9 a.m. in Happy Valley.

Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the following charities:

? Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church

? Innovative Housing, Inc.

? St. Vincent de Paul