ASHTABULA — David Allen Whitaker, age 69, of Ashtabula, Ohio, died Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, at University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center.
He was born Nov. 24, 1943, in Ashtabula, to John Maurice and Ethel Mae (Peggs) Whitaker. A lifelong Ashtabula resident, he grew up in the Harbor area and attended Mother of Sorrows Elementary School. The family then moved to South Ridge West and he attended Saybrook Junior High School. He graduated from Ashtabula High School in 1963.
He married Ingrid Maureen Nelson on Nov. 5, 1966. They have six children, Renee (David) Buhl of Clinton, Tenn., David (Shelly) Whitaker II, Judith (Bill) Neff and Diane (Sean McBride) Whitaker, all of Ashtabula, John (Rebecca) Whitaker of Newnan, Ga., and Laura (Shawn Hadlock) of Ashtabula; 12 grandchildren, Natawni (Tim Dougherty) Buhl of Tennessee, Kayla Wynn of Tennessee, Nicole Oliver of Missouri, Justin and Grant Whitaker of Georgia, Aaron Whitaker, Robert (Gabrielle Reo) Oliver II, Whitney Johnson, Tiffany (Dillon Riddle) Johnson, Hope Moody, Blaine Hadlock and step-grandson, Deven Hadlock, all of Ashtabula; and six great-grandchildren, Madison Buhl, Brenden and Jayden Dougherty and Markie Buhl, all of Tennessee, Derek Riddle and Jack Oliver, both of Ashtabula. Also surviving are a step-sister, Donna Weeks of Florida and a step-brother, Robert (Ann) Frisbie of Ashtabula; one aunt, Anna Marie Kerekes; and cousins, Steven Kerekes and Robert Whitaker and Irene Soles of California. His sisters-in-law, Norma (Gary) Eble and Cheryl (Chuck) Stills; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his step-mother, Twila Frisbie Whitaker; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Carl and Neva Nelson; two grandsons, Mark and Mathew Buhl; his grandparents; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
In his younger years, he worked for Broughton Beverages and later for Ashtabula Coca Cola delivering all over Ashtabula and Lake County. In 1970, he began a career with Saybrook Township, road and cemetery department. He started mowing grass in the cemetery and moved on to work on the roads in the summer and plowing in the winter. His regular run took him past his own home where if it snowed on Christmas morning the kids would be standing at the window waiting to see Dad go by, knowing this was the last leg of his route and soon would be home to have Christmas. The last five years before retirement he held the position of Superintendent and Cemetery Sexton. He retired in 1998.