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Steps After Dark with Kerry Lee Crawford
Kerry Lee Crawford

     Mark & Jem’s “Idiot Ting”

August 27, 2013
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Man may have fathered 54 children   The family of a man estimated to have fathered 54 children gathered together at the weekend to celebrate the life of the man that they called ‘daddy.’   Samuel Delbert Whitney from Phoenix, Arizona, passed away last month at the age of 87.   In south Phoenix he was well known for operating a wrecking yard, running several social clubs and for fathering a lot of kids.   His children range in age from 69 all the down to 13, the youngest was born when Whitney was in his mid 70s.   In fact no one is exactly sure how many children Whitney fathered. One his eldest, stepdaughter Lexi Woods, has admitted her father had told her that she had 41 brothers and sisters.   But since Whitney's passing, she said his friends had approached her to reveal that the total was actually closer to 54.   Marillyn Whitney described her daddy as a family man, but also a bit of a wild man. ‘He had a lot of umph in him I guess,’ she said.   After their father's passing, three of his daughters decided to organize Saturday's memorial service and got busy trying to get in touch with as many of their brothers and sisters as they could track down.   The big problem for Lexi, Marillyn and Sandra Whitney, who at age 69 is the oldest of the biological kids, was that they didn’t know where many of their siblings lived or even who they were.   They put fly posters up throughout south Phoenix in an attempt to inform as many of the huge Whitney brood as possible about the passing of their father and to let them know the memorial was to be held at the Bridge Church.   But when they didn’t get much of a response, they contacted the local TV news who ran a feature about their plight on the night before the memorial.   The TV appeal prompted more children to come forward and some even flew in from Los Angeles to pay their respects and meet the family they never knew they had.

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