Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley
(630) 896-7800

Charles G. & Mary K. Whinfrey Endowment Fund

Established 2013

Mary & Charles Whinfrey

Mary & Charles Whinfrey

This fund provides income for the Community Foundation’s discretionary grantmaking program.

Charles George Whinfrey, Jr. (1923-2005) was born in Cleveland, Ohio and was raised in New Jersey.

He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1944 and was the captain of the minesweeper USS Reedbird for sixteen months, attaining the rank of lieutenant while serving off the coast of Pearl Harbor and in the Panama Canal. He then received a degree in science and agriculture from Cornell University.

After a successful sales career in the chemical industry with PennSalt Company in Philadelphia and Great Lakes Solvents in Chicago, Mr. Whinfrey founded Producers Chemical Company in Aurora in 1963.

To better serve its customers, the company later moved to Batavia and then to Sugar Grove. Mr. Whinfrey retired from the business in 1986 and turned over the operations to his family.

After retirement, he became involved with the Coast Guard Auxiliary in Naples, Florida. He conducted search and rescue missions and also courtesy safety checks for recreational boaters. He also was a volunteer at Morton Arboretum.

He met his future wife Mary Kirk while they were students at Cornell University.  They were married in 1946.

Mrs. Whinfrey (1925-2013) was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was instrumental in the founding of Producers Chemical Company in 1963 along with her husband.

She had a great sense of style and for almost thirty years worked and modeled at The Little Traveler in Geneva, Illinois and other retail boutiques in Naples, Florida.

The couple had three children – Donald, Peter and Jane Harris. Peter and Jane have both served as directors of the Community Foundation.

(630) 896-7800