August 10, 1968—May 10, 2019
Dietta Lynn Whitney-Espinoza was born August 10, 1968, in Elko, Nevada, and passed away on May 10, 2019, in Salt Lake City, Utah. “Deedee”, as she was affectionately known by family and friends, spent most of her life in Elko and in the Bay Area. She attended elementary, junior and senior high school in Oakland, California, and graduated from Skyline High School in 1986. Deedee was a kind and caring soul and she was beloved by countless friends and family members alike. In 1982, Deedee and a neighborhood friend were honored by the City of Oakland’s American Red Cross for their efforts at saving the life of a little boy from drowning in a pool. In 1988, Deedee returned to her hometown, whereupon she started a family and began to work for the Red Lion Inn & Casino. Over her lifetime, Deedee also worked as a home health aide for the State and a community health representative for Elko Band. Prior to her passing, Deedee served as the head cook for the Shoshone Welcome Center. In addition to being an accomplished cook and baker, Deedee was a gifted crafts person and seamstress, and she would often be found working alongside her mother in her mother’s upholstery business. In 2010, Deedee partnered with her mother and sister and opened Whitney Family Indian Tacos, selling their popular food recipe at a variety of yearly area events. Deedee was an avid sports fan, particularly of the Oakland A’s, Raiders and Golden State Warriors, and she would often be seen loudly rooting for her teams.
Deedee is survived by her mother, Lois Whitney of Elko; sister, Joan Whitney of Elko; sons, Philip Whitney of Salt Lake City, UT., and Eric Whitney Sr., of Elko; grandson, Eric Whitney, Jr., of Elko; grandfather, Webb Brady of Elko; ex-husband and friend, Benjamin Espinoza of Elko; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Deedee was preceded in death by her father, Harold Whitney, Sr; sisters, Stephanie and Denise Whitney; brother, Harold Whitney, Jr; maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Jackson Brady; paternal grandparents, William Whitney, Sr., and Pearl Dunn Whitney; aunts, Rosalie Dunn, Carol Benallie, Margaret Walker, Marion Sam, and Betty Jo Dick; uncle, Vernon Astraloa; and, cousins, Willie Sam and Derek Benallie.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 24, 2019, at the Elko Colony Health and Wellness Center. Viewing will begin at 8:00 am, with service following at 9:00 am. Deedee will be laid to rest at the Elko City Cemetery.