Richard (Carl) Whitaker of Walton, passed away at his home, surrounded by his caring family, early Tuesday morning, December 18, 2018, following a courageous battle with cancer.
Carl was born on Bullock Hill Road, town of Tompkins on April 25, 1940 the son of the late Richard Whitaker and Stella (Stringer) Whitaker. He was a graduate of Walton High School, class of 1958. On June 10, 1962 he married his “Cupcake” Linda VanLoan at the United Presbyterian Church in Walton.
Carl proudly served his country in the US Army. His exceptional work ethic was an example to all who knew him. Carl and Linda had many successful years as owner/operators of Hillcrest Roller Rink, Sears Catalog and Record Store. He was also employed at Bendix Corp. and SJ Bailey & Son. His meticulous painting and craftsmanship can be seen in various homes throughout the area. However, the most recent position held at the Townsend Elementary School brought him the most joy.
Carl will be lovingly remembered as a devoted husband of 56 years, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend to everyone who crossed his path. Although Carl was an avid Walton Warrior fan, he could at any time be found sporting a Delhi Bulldogs or SK Rams cap while cheering for any one of his five grandchildren. While attending these activities he became known by all as Grandpa Whit, “the man behind the camera”.
Carl was an active member of the East Branch Community Church. He was an avid collector of both HO scale model trains and vinyl records. For many years Carl enjoyed roller skating and making lifelong friends “coaching” his Sears softball team.
There are not enough words to explain the kind and generous soul of this true gentleman. A nephew recently described his uncle best stating “our blessed Lord broke the mold after you”.
Carl is survived by his loving wife and daughters Laura Kerekes of Treadwell and Carla (Duane) Gardner of Andes. Grandchildren Jason (Courtney), Lisa, Allison (Eric), Damon (Melissa), and Devin. Carl’s first great grandchild is due to arrive in January 2019 who he affectionately referred to as the “little one”. He is also survived by sisters, Faye Parsons of Bainbridge, Joan (Ernest) Griswold of Bennetsville and brother, Doug (Luanne) Whitaker of Illinois, sisters in law, Faye Anderson, Bonnie VanLoan, and Sherrie (Bill Scully) Murphy and brother in law Donald (Francine) VanLoan and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Friends and relatives are invited to his Celebration of Life on Saturday, December 22, 2018 from 1-4PM at the Walton Fire Hall, West Street, Walton, NY. People are encouraged to bring their favorite memory of Carl to share.
A graveside service with full military honors will be held at Walton Cemetary at a date and time to be determined.
Memorial contributions to support program’s for the children Carl loved so much can be made in his memory to the Townsend Elementary School, 42-66 Townsend Street, Walton, NY 13856.