Torey, a dedicated police officer, devoted husband, loving father of three, cherished son, caring brother, fatherly uncle, loyal friend, and passionate Michigan fan, left us on May 16, 2023. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his family, leaving behind a legacy of honor, courage, and brute strength.
Born on August 3, 1970, Torey was raised in Wyoming by his proud mother, Pam. Torey attended Kelloggsville High School, received his bachelor’s degree in business at Western Michigan University, and joined the police force in 1996. Torey started his journey on the SRT Swat unit but spent the majority of his time on patrol.
Torey served his community faithfully for 22 years as a police officer with the Grand Rapids Police Department. He embraced his role with unwavering dedication, going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the safety and well-being of his fellow citizens. He faced countless challenges and dangerous situations with bravery and composure, earning the respect and admiration of his brothers in arms and the community he served.
Beyond his professional life, Torey was the most kickass fan of the Michigan Wolverines. From the heart-pounding football games to thrilling basketball tournaments, he reveled in the spirited atmosphere and proudly displayed his maize and blue colors. He was known for his contagious enthusiasm, rants about refs, anger towards players, hilarious commentary, and bringing people together for the games. Torey also spent a lot of his free time cooking, fishing, watching TikTok’s, playing with his dog/buddy Maizey, binging shows, and playing games with Karyn and the kids.
In 2015, Torey was diagnosed with cancer. Although Torey had been brave enough to face all kinds of difficult situations, this was his toughest battle yet. Through his toughest battle, Torey remained as badass as everyone thought he was and endured the battle far longer than anyone expected. Torey took on cancer for 8 years when he was only given 6 months to live. Torey always said that the pain was hard, but the way it affected those around him was the worst part. Not only did he spend those 8 years fighting nonstop, but he took the time to inspire, connect, and change the lives of everyone lucky enough to spend time with him.
Torey is preceded in death by his father, Tom Whitten, and lives on through his wife and high school sweetheart, Karyn; his children, Cam, Drew, and Kylie; his mother, Pam Stevens; in-laws, Bob and Jan Plants; his brother and best friend, Ryan Perry and wife, Michelle; brother, Marty Whitten; brother, Doug Draper; and siblings-in-law, Matt and Kris Tingley, Tammy and Bernie Zost, Bobbie and Phil Krey. He is also survived by his nieces and nephews: Kayla, Ryan, Jaci, Mitchell, Breanne, Kelsey, Kyle, Zach, Kenzie, and Jace.
A memorial service to honor Torey’s life will be held at 3:33 pm on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 at Chapel Pointe, 3350 Baldwin St., Hudsonville. An hour of visitation will be held prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to Shields of Hope West Michigan, Emmanuel Hospice, American Cancer Society, or Lake Michigan Credit Union-Torey Whitten.