When Milton Whitaker was born on April 22, 1927, he was blessed with God fearing parents; George and Eria Butler Whitaker who, by example, taught Christian values, integrity and ingenuity that resulted in a solid and caring family environment. His parents were highly respected among friends and neighbors in the Dalark Community. They taught him “a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”
He confessed his hope in Christ at a young age. He sacrificed his education to help raise and support his brothers and sisters. He was a member of Centerpoint AME Church and later united with Macedonia Baptist Church. He was a stalwart member having served as a deacon, trustee and president of the choir. He was also the “Bus Driver” for the Greater Bradley District Choir for numerous years.
Milton married Zeola Hogan and to this union a son, Roy Milton was born. He later united with Jessie Lee Eason in holy matrimony March 27, 1953. Together, Milton and Jessie Lee shared a beautiful devotion for one another that radiated like a brilliant and beautiful light for others to emulate. To their inseparable and prosperous union, God blessed them with seven handsome sons. He took his role as father seriously and didn’t believe in sparing the rod. He worked hard and made many sacrifices to take care of his family. His children were his pride and joy. He taught them to follow the golden rule --" treat others as they would want to be treated”.
Milton possessed a strong work ethic and modeled the scripture 2 Thessalonians 3:10 "If anyone doesn't want to work, he shouldn't eat." Early in his life he worked in the pulpwood business and soon started Whitaker Logging. He created numerous jobs and taught a lot of “young men” how to be a man. There was always room on his crew. He was blessed with a vast career in logging for over 30 years enabling him to be a gratifying provider for his family. Milton’s heart was so big, if he didn’t have a position open he would “make up one” just to put the next man to work. He taught kindness, respect of self and others.
He was known throughout the community as being a true lover of horses. He enjoyed training and horseback riding. The Whitaker Horse Riding Club was birthed out of his passion and love for horses. Although most claim that the dog is man’s best friend, but in his own account the horse was his. With Milton’s warm personality people were drawn to him and made friends with any and everybody. His legacy of family togetherness, church and community will live on in the hearts of his loved ones and friends. His natural wit and humor could chase the chill from any room.
After 88 seasons of life Milton received his blessing of immortality on Tuesday, November 24, 2014. He was welcomed home by his parents, his son Donnell Whitaker; grandson, Arthur Whitaker, Jr., a sister, Mary Delamar and a brother Valley Whitaker.
He leaves to celebrate and honor his life’s journey: a devoted wife of 62 years, Jessie Lee Whitaker; his children, Roy Milton Whitaker of Las Vegas, NV, Arthur Whitaker (Lucy) of Rockford, IL, Doris Davis of Milwaukee, WI, Willie Eason (Grace) of Benton, AR, Jeff Whitaker (Phyllis) of Benton, AR, David Whitaker (Debra) of Sparkman, AR, James Whitaker (Brenda) of Rockford, IL, Mark Whitaker of Little Rock, AR, and Gene Whitaker (Donna) of Sparkman, AR; 34 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great grandchildren; sisters, Bessie Bowman of St. Louis, MO and Erma Jean Yarber of Kansas City, MO; brothers, Robert Whitaker of Memphis, TN, George Whitaker (Patricia) of Sparkman, AR, Charles Whitaker (Geneva) of Sparkman, AR and Marvin Whitaker (Bessie) of Springhill, LA. He also leaves numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, a special friend James “Cowboy” Jacob, the Macedonia Baptist Church family and the Greater Bradley District Choir family. Public visitation for Mr. Whitaker will be held on Friday, December 4, 2015 from 2-4 p.m. at the funeral home. The family gathering will be held at Macedonia Baptist Church from 6-7 p.m. The last farewell will be held on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at Macedonia Baptist Church. Rev. J. L. Newborn will officiate. The interment will be in Harmony Community Cemetery.