Valdosta Daily Times

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April 24, 2014

John Wesley Whitaker Jr.

-- — John Wesley Whitaker Jr., (“The Story Teller”), was born to the late John W. Whitaker, Sr. and Angela Madison Edwards on Jan. 4, 1949, in St. Louis, Mo.

John passed away April 19, 2014 at the age of 65. He was a graduate of Valdosta State University.

He was a person of multiple talents and skills.  John, fondly known as “Shang”, Dad, Daddy, J.W., Whit, Grandpa Shang, Mr. John, Bro. Whit, Bro. Whi-ta-ker, Papa and Papa Bear, made life-long friends.  He was a very loving and hospitable person that loved his family and friends dearly.

He touched the lives and hearts of all those who knew him.  He could always lighten the day, whether he was embellishing a story, telling a tall tale, or trying to convince you of his infamous past.  He could always make you laugh and brighten the day.

Some may have been surprised when he was baptized on April 10, 1982, as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but for John, this was a license to TALK, and talk he did; with everyone he met.  Only this time with purpose; teaching people what he learned from the Bible and encouraging them from the scriptures.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by three brothers: Walter Whitaker, Gilbert Edwards and Charles Edwards; and one sister: Bonnie Edwards.

He is survived by his wife: Elaine Washington Whitaker; eight children, Ronnie (Jill), Willie Mae (Andrew), John W. III (Beatrice), Malcolm, Adrian, Chelsea, Yolanda, and Kim; two sisters, Angela O’Riley and Vivian Hood (Clifford); two brothers, Lionel Edwards (Brenda) and Charles Whitaker; 26 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; step-mother: Besfanette Whitaker; father-in-law: Semeion Washington, Sr.; and a large extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, spiritual brothers, sisters, and friends.  Special thanks to Select Specialty, United Hospice, US Renal Care, Lake Haven Nursing Home, and Dasher Memorial Heart Center/SGMC.

Memorial service for the late Mr. John Wesley Whitaker, Jr. will be held Saturday, April 26, 2014, at 1 p.m., from the Kingdom Hall Jehovah’s Witness, 4244 N. Forrest Street, Valdosta.  Bro. Mark Harris will officiate. Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at  — Godfrey Funeral Home.

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