James Keller Whitaker II was born on June 17, 1935 in the old homestead in Blackey KY. His parents were J Keller & Bertha. His early days of life were spent in the hills & hollers of the area. He attended Cordia school & always told us he graduated at age 16 with just a handful of others. He attended Alice Lloyd College, Union College & Morehead..
In 1954 Jim enlisted in the US NAVY. While stationed in Astoria, Oregon he met his wife to be, Ova Ann on a liberty trip to Portland. In 1957, he and Ann married. While in the Navy, he was stationed on the USS CORAL SEA , the USS PERVUS and saw many ports across the world. Upon his honorable retirement in 1975, as a 1st class storekeeper & dispersing clerk, he was awarded the Navy Achievement medal, 5 Good Conduct medals, Combat Action medal, Armed Service medal & 2 Vietnam service medals.
Upon retirement, Jim, Ann & now 4 sons moved to Ontario Oregon.
Jim began a 2nd career with the city of Ontario as shop foreman. Around 1993 he said, he heard the call of the KY mountains. He retired again and with Ann moved to Blackey KY. He remained here to live out the winter years of his life.
After years of health issues, our beloved Jim, dad, pop, grandpa, grumps, brother, uncle & poppy crossed over the river to be welcomed by all family members & friends smiling to see him. As his reached the heavenly shore, he probably ask where's the best place for some biscuits and gravy.
Jim leaves here on this earth: 4 sons, James Keller & wife Beck sue of Texas, Russell & wife Vonda of KY, Robert & wife Paula of Mexico , and Wally & wife Kristi of Oregon. He also leaves behind his sister, Alice Whitaker of KY, a host grandchildren and great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews and friends from coast to coast.
A family visitation night was Tuesday 6pm at Letcher Funeral Home in Whitesburg.
Funeral service will be Wednesday at 11am at Letcher Funeral Home in Whitesburg.
Burial will be in the Whitaker-Back cemetery in Blackey.
We won't say goodbye today, instead we all will say: Fair winds & Following Seas. We love you, Jim.
Preceding Jim in death was his parents, J Keller & Bertha, his sister, Ruth Ann Kelly, his beloved wife Ann, 2 grandchildren April & Bobby & niece Amanda Worley.