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Marian Joan Whitney Giddens

May 27, 1937 ~ July 10, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old


Marian Joan Whitney Giddens, passed away peacefully on July 10, 2023 in Sarasota, FL at the age of 86. She was born in Davenport on May 27,1937 to Harry and Nellie Jacobsen of DeWitt, Iowa. She attended DeWitt High School where she was a cheerleader, member of the glee club, band, chorus, and proud graduate of the class of 1955.

After she completed nurses training in Cedar Rapids she moved to Germany for 18 months before deciding to return to Iowa to work at Eagle Signal in Davenport.

Marian loved adventure and shortly after returning to Iowa decided to move to California with two friends. She was hired by CBS Studios in the San Fernando Valley where she worked until a promotion with the studio would take her to Hawaii. She was responsible for managing the financial operations for the television series Hawaii 5-0.  After four years in Hawaii, she returned to California where she met Charles Whitney II. The two later wed in Hawaii in1974. She went on to become the operations manager for his oil drilling business which was eventually sold in the late 1970s.  The two then embarked on their next adventure and bought a ranch in Buellton, CA. For the next seven years, they would raise and race thoroughbreds at such racetracks as Santa Anita.

She and Chuck moved to Arizona where they enjoyed the warm weather until his passing from complications of diabetes.  She stayed in AZ with her dog, Cookie, where she continued to enjoy playing golf and Bridge with her friends, playing the French horn with a local band, and singing with a choir group. There was never a more constant friend for her than her dogs over the years. She continued to travel all over the world with friends to places like Africa, the Mediterranean, Jamaica, Alaska, Australia, and Canada.

One of the friends she reconnected with was Campbell Giddens, an American opera student, whom she had met while in Germany.  A late in life romance led to another marriage and the two took to the road enjoying travel and photography.  An untimely passing of Campbell along with her father, Harry in 2007 took her back to Iowa to help care for her mother Nellie until her passing in 2009.

Her love of seeing the world and trying new things took her to Florida where she settled in Sarasota to be near the beach and enjoy the warm weather.

She is survived by her sister, Janis Gauthier (Barrie), her nieces, Kimberly Young (Christian), Jennifer Reid (Steve), and Traci Matsunaka (Kristi), and six step children.

We are heartbroken to lose someone so special, we cannot help but celebrate a life truly well lived. Her memory will live on in the hearts of all those who knew her.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society.

A private service will be held in her honor August 4th, 2023 in DeWitt, Iowa.

Memories and photos can be shared online at:

Arrangements are in the care of Schultz Funeral Home, DeWitt. Condolences may be expressed at

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Private Committal


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