Janet Louise Tiedemann Whitney
April 5, 1955 – February 5th, 2022
Janet Louise Tiedemann Whitney passed away peacefully on February, 5th, 2022.
Born in April, 1955, in Mineola, NY, to Henry Martin Tiedemann and Gertrude Gerlach Tiedemann. She grew up in Greenwich, CT, and loved singing, swimming, skiing, and swinging on vines with her sister. Janet spent many years helping her family restore their beloved yacht, Mariner, and sailing on the Long Island Sound. She attended Greenwich High School and went on to study at Roger Williams College.
She made a career with her first husband, Gordon Spencer, crewing on yachts locally and delivering them to the Caribbean. Janet also worked with her brother, Bob Tiedemann, helping him to realize his dream of running a charter business in Newport, RI. She ran the office and helped with the maintenance and restoration of his classic wooden yacht fleet that included Mariner, Gleam, Northern Light, and Pam. Janet was a highly skilled and respected member of the yachting community.
In 1983, Janet married John Whitney who shared her passion for sailing. Together, they ran classic yachts, including Ticonderoga. In the 1990’s, Jan and John purchased the schooner Winterwood and restored her to her glory. After 6 years, they moved aboard, and Winterwood became their home. Some winters, they sailed down the inter coastal and on to the Florida Keys and Caribbean. They regularly competed in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race, winning their class in 1995, and the overall race in 1997.
In 2012, Janet and John purchased and moved aboard the Wallace Foss, one of the oldest working tugboats in the world,. After John’s passing in 2014, Jan continued to live aboard the Wallace Foss in Newport Harbor. In 2018, she moved to Portsmouth, RI, to live with her sister. Though on land, she continued to monitor the daily marine forecast from her handheld VHF and enjoy water views from her deck overlooking the Sakonnet River.
Janet loved writing poems, sharing tales of her adventures on the high seas, and creating puzzles and crosswords for all ages to enjoy. She spent her last years surrounded by family, and filled with the laughter and love of her sister, Susan Tiedemann; cousin, Dorothy, and her husband, Sam Small; nephew, Todd, and his wife, Dawn; nieces, Jillian, Sara, Harmony, Cedar, and their husbands, Nic, Jamie, and Dan; her grand nieces, Bellewyn, Alden, Calla, Marlee, and Yena; and grand nephew, Henry.
Her loving spirit, passion for yachting, infectious laugh, and witty sense of humor will be missed by all who knew her.
A celebration of Janet’s life will be held this spring with close friends and family.