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William J. (Bill) Whitaker Jr., was born June 2, 1926, in Brownbranch, Mo., to parents Willie E. and Maria Elizabeth Stamp Whitaker. He moved to his heavenly home April 30, 2011, from his Ava home surrounded by his living family. He married Almalou Dixon on Oct. 14, 1972.
Bill Jr. graduated from Bradleyville High School. In 1946 he joined the U.S. Army. Bill faithfully served as a deacon in the General Baptist Church for many years. His deep faith in God enabled him to enjoy God’s creation. He felt close to God when he was on the farm on Caney Creek.
He was a farmer most of his life, who knew the ways of the animals and plants. He enjoyed gardening and was at his happiest tilling the soil and watching vegetables grow.
He didn’t grow flowers; after all, you could not eat them.
He often shared the fruits of his labors by sharing the vegetables with friends and neighbors.
He enjoyed reading and was very well read on any subject. He was a frequent visitor to the library. There was a certain look in his eyes that let you know that he was “pondering” a particular subject; he was thoughtful. I have a feeling that God needed spring plowing done in Heaven’s garden, so called the best person to do the job, Bill.
Bill Jr. was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife, Almalou; one brother; and two sisters.
Bill Jr. is survived by one daughter, Ilene Whitaker, of Ava; and cousins Larry and Debbie Chance. He is also survived by his special caregiver, Marian Wiltfong. He will be deeply missed by a host of friends.
Memorial services for Bill Jr. will be conducted Friday, May 20, at 2 p.m., in the Ava General Baptist Church with the Rev. Oren Alcorn officiating. Burial will follow in the Ava City Cemetery.
All arrangements are under the care and direction of Ava Family Funeral Home.