Kenneth “Ken” W. Whitaker, 90, a long-time resident of Silver Lake, Harrisville, and formerly of Keene, NH died on November 8, 2020, on his 90th birthday in Swanzey. He passed peacefully with the love of family near his daughter’s home.
Kenneth was born the son of the late Maude (Russell) and Wilber Whitaker on November 8, 1930, in Williamsville, VT. He was educated in Thetford, VT., and graduated from Thetford Academy class of 1948. He went on in his education and graduated from Lyndon Teachers College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education class of 1952. He later earned his Master’s Degree in Education from Keene State College.
On November 27, 1957, he exchanged vows with Mary L. Higgins at St. Assisi Roman Catholic Church in Norwich, VT. They were married with family and friends in attendance. Sadly, Mary passed on May 4, 2011, after fifty-three years of marriage.
Ken was a patriot. He served his country in the United States Army and was honorably discharged on August 31, 1961, at the rank of Private First Class – E3.
Ken was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather and was affectionately called by his grandchildren as “Beepa” and “Pappa Ken”. His dedication and love for his wife were undeniable. When she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and he was not able to care for her at home any longer, it was his mission to ensure that she had the best care and made the daily trip to the nursing home to ensure she was getting the best care and attention needed.
Ken worked as a teacher and educator for the Keene School System, SAU 29 for thirty-two years before his retirement in June 1987. After retirement, he and Mary were able to enjoy travel to many areas of the world and country starting with a trip to Hawaii right after retiring. He still enjoyed and looked forward to traveling with the family to St. Lucia every year.
He enjoyed many things in life. Time was spent; playing tennis, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and sailing. He was always up for a good game of cribbage. During the early and late summer, he could be found picking strawberries and blueberries. He loved to bake and make homemade chocolates for friends and family. Ken was a long-time member of the New Hampshire Retired Teachers Association, Racket Club in Keene, Silver Lake tennis court, and was active in the Silver Lake Association.
Mr. Whitaker is survived by his children; Martha “Marty” A. Joyal of Swanzey, Andrew C. Whitaker, and his wife, Mariann of Andover, N.J. His grandchildren; Tim Joyal, and his wife, Jessica of Swanzey; Abigail Whitaker, Morgan Whitaker, Gabrielle Whitaker, and Taylor Whitaker and a great-granddaughter, Leah Joyal. A brother, Ervin “Buster” Needham of S. Stratford, VT., and a sister-in-law, Ardel Whitaker of Hyde Park, VT. In addition, he leaves; cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. Ken is predeceased by his siblings; Charles Whitaker, Gerald Whitaker, Louise Bailey, Howard Whitaker, Josephine Enberg, Gene Needham, and Jean Whittemore.
Calling hours will be held on Sunday, November 15, 2020, from 2 to 4 pm. in the funeral home. A graveside service with military honors will be held on Monday, November 16, 2020, at 11 am. in the family lot at Willard Hill Cemetery, Chesham Rd. Harrisville, NH. 03450. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic masks and social distancing will be required. Flowers will gladly be accepted. However, the family would prefer donations be made in memory of Kenneth W. Whitaker to:
166 South River Rd.
Bedford, NH. 03110
Hospice and Community Services
312 Marlboro St.
Keene, NH. 03431.
All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Home and Crematories, 46 Winchester St. Swanzey, NH. 03446. WWW.cheshirefamilyfh.com