Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” Revelation 14:13
Jessie Lee Eason Whitaker was born on January 28, 1930 in Sparkman, Arkansas to the union of Arthur and Arrillia Craig Eason. Her parents were highly respected among friends and neighbors in Sparkman. Her Christian journey began at the age twelve when she accepted Christ, was baptized and united with the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church where she remained a faithful and active member until her health begin to fail. She served as deaconess, with the WMU and a member of the choir. She was also a member of the Greater Bradley District Choir for several years.
Jessie Lee Eason married Milton Whitaker on March 27, 1953. Together, Milton and Jessie Lee shared a beautiful devotion for one another that radiated like a beautiful light for others to emulate. To their inseparable and prosperous union, God blessed them with eight handsome sons. Of all the notable titles and respected positions, she was a supportive sweet mother, even sweeter grandmother, proud aunt and a true friend. Having all boys, she didn’t believe in sparing the rod. Her sons meant the world to her and she taught them to follow the golden rule --" treat others as they would want to be treated”. She was always their biggest basketball fan, cheerleader and referee. She was a devoted wife for sixty-two years until Milton’s passing on November 24, 2015.
She enjoyed reading, fishing, crossword puzzles and traveling. She loved to sing and cook. Her home was the gathering place for her children, other family members and friends. Always aiming to give the best she had, whether it be time, advice, or a soft hug, you knew you could depend on her to be authentic and encouraging. She had a calm sweet spirit yet asserted herself for matters she felt were important. Her selflessness, sense of humor, and love for family, and friends will be remembered by all who knew her well.
On Friday, March 30, 2018, the Lord closed her eyes and granted her rest. She was preceded in death by her parents; her siblings, Dulsea Penix, Mattie Watkins, Dale Eason, Justine Williams, Mary Robinson, and Ora Lee Forte; her beloved husband, Milton Whitaker; her sons, Donnell Whitaker and James Whitaker and grandson, Arthur Whitaker, Jr.
Her shining light and her beautiful smile will be forever missed by her children: Arthur Whitaker (Lucy) of Rockford, IL, Willie Eason (Grace) of Benton, AR, Jeff Whitaker (Phyllis) of Benton, AR, David Whitaker (Debra) of Sparkman, AR, Mark Whitaker of Little Rock, AR, and Gene Whitaker (Donna) of Sparkman, AR; a daughter-in-law, Brenda Whitaker of Rockford, IL; two children she loved as her own, Roy Whitaker of Las Vegas, NV and Doris Davis of Milwaukee, WI; 20 grandchildren, a special granddaughter and caregiver, Whitney Whitaker; 21 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Bessie Bowman and Erma Jean Yarber; brothers-in-law, Robert Whitaker, George Whitaker (Patricia), Charles Whitaker (Geneva), and Marvin Whitaker (Bessie). She also leaves numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and the Macedonia Baptist Church family.
Public visitation will be from 12 noon until 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 6, 2018 at the funeral home. The family will receive friends on Friday, April 6, 2018 from 6-7 p.m. at Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. The last farewell will be held on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Dr. Lewis A. Shepherd, Jr., and Rev. J. L. Newborn, eulogist. Interment will be at Harmony Community Cemetery in Sparkman, Arkansas.