Brian Preston Wilhite died in Fresno on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at the age of 74. He was born on Aug. 25, 1942 in Atascadero to Norah C. Mansfield and Franklin Wilhite.
Wilhite grew up in and around Yosemite National Park, graduating from Sierra High School then Fresno State.
He began his career in education as an art and photography teacher at McLane High School in Fresno.
He married Christine “Criss” Denman Wilhite in 1971 and lived in north Fresno in a clapboard house that he and Criss moved from its prior location near downtown Fresno and renovated. Wilhite raised chickens, and grew fruit trees, grapes, and vegetables.
In 1974, his daughter Chelsea was born.
In 1977 the Wilhites moved to Ahwahnee, where Mr. Wilhite continued teaching while also running White Cloud Photography documenting weddings, graduations, family gatherings and the beauty of the Sierra Nevada.
His son, Carson, was born in 1979.
Mr. Wilhite was an active traveler, hiker, swimmer, and skier throughout his lifetime, enjoying the beauty and challenge of mountain peaks and slopes around the western United States, Europe, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, China, and Fiji.
When his children were young, he spent summers with them backpacking the Sierra and swimming in Big Creek, the South Fork of the Merced River, and Bass Lake. During winters, he took them skiing at Badger Pass, Tahoe-area slopes, and even in their own yard. In later years, he joined several outdoor recreation groups, making countless new friends and memories.
Wilhite is survived by his sisters, Doris and Diana; children, Chelsea and Carson; grandchildren Gavin, Annalise, and Walker.
A party to celebrate his life is planned for 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 10 at Queen’s Inn by the River in Oakhurst.