Whitney Epps of Hamden, CT has passed away after an arduous 5-years living with cancer. He was a self- proclaimed fighter “who fought for everything he had and all he achieved,” the greatest of which were his grandchildren.

The Story
Mom and dad met as teenagers; they attended the same church fellowship in high school. After a brief period apart, they reconnected when dad was honorably discharged from the United States Army.

Dad was born and raised in Hamden, CT. He graduated from Hamden High School and attended
Virginia State University for two years, before he was recruited to serve in the Army during the Vietnam War. He was stationed in Japan where his role was to pack and test parachutes and jumping out of planes midair. During his tour he was recruited by the Navy to play football, as at that time the Army didn’t have their own team. Turns out he played with Roger Staubach, who was on a parallel path.

His anchor to the world and love of his life was his wife Donna, married for 53 years. He leaves to mourn his death his children, Whitney Epps of Hamden, CT and Teryl (Gary) Smith of East
Longmeadow, MA. He has 4 grandchildren, Maya Epps, Anayah Epps and Miyla Epps of Hamden, CT and James Smith of East Longmeadow, MA. He is predeceased by his parents Whitney and Amy Epps of Hamden, CT. He was one of 4 children and is survived by his three sisters, Patricia Taylor of Martha’s Vineyard, MA, Sheila Epps and Alice Jennings and sister-in-law Alene Wall of Hamden, CT. He leaves first cousins, Tommy Epps, Georgeanne Coleman, and Laurie Russel, as well as nieces and nephews, Carla Pla, Daniel Gibbs, Scott Jennings, Jonathan (Briana) Lumpkin, Charlie, Christopher, CJ, Morgan, Jordan and Nashua Wall.

The Character
He was a very principled man, proud of his family and his home. He was a neat freak, fastidious about the appearance of his home, cars, and his person; never should there be a hair out of place. He was a music enthusiast, his home, and any space he occupied was filled with music of all genres, periods, and styles. His home, car and manbag were filled with the latest high-end audio equipment, tools, and technology. His extraverted personality and joy of music was akin to the pied piper, making connections and establishing a following wherever he went. As a result, whatever kind of connection you needed, he “knew a guy.”

He could be intense; the consummate soldier, strict upbringing, and principled; it was his way or the highway. Hence the commission to the Army and public service for over 30 years at the New Haven Police Department retiring as District Manager, Sergeant. Offsetting this intensity was not only music, but a love of sports. As an avid sportsman, his first passion was football which he played for many years and then there was basketball. Family and friends knew not to call or create any kind of distraction for his beloved UCONN both the men and the women teams.

He loved deeply, which could be challenging to understand, and his heart was big and full of good intentions packed in the persona of a honey badger. That was until the grandchildren arrived and his beloved dog Brandy who all experienced an adoring loving and devoted grandfather. Whitney managed to hold on to the love of his life by his side as he took his last breath.

A memorial homegoing service will be held Thursday, February 22, 2024, at 11:00 A.M. at Curvin K. Council Funeral Home, 128 Dwight St., New Haven.

In lieu of flowers it would be appreciated if donations were made to Sisters’ Journey,