Horace G. “Whitey” Whitaker, age 89 passed away peacefully on December 22, 2019 after a brief illness with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Whitey grew up in Littleville (Chester, MA). He was the first born of 12 children and son of the late Clifford and Clara Whitaker. Whitey received his schooling in Chester, MA before enlisting in the United States Air Force and continued in the Reserves. From 1951-1959, he served our country in Japan during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged earning the rank of Staff Sargent. He received a commendation in Japan for operating a snow plow to keep Tokyo's Haneda airport open during a snow storm. While in Japan, he was proud to have hiked Mt. Fuji (12,388 ft). When he returned home he was employed by Donovan Brothers, until he began working at Texon, Inc. for over 30 years as a diesel mechanic. Whitey enjoyed spending his early retirement years repairing small engines at Gateway Auto Parts. He and his wife Charlene (Donovan) shared a passion for snowmobiles. Together, they operated Whitaker's Sales & Service, selling SnoJet and Kawasaki snowmobiles for 10 years. In the 70's, Whitey and Charlene were racing snowmobiles throughout the Northeast. They were active members in the Worthington Snowmobile Club and the Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts. They received the distinction of Family of the Year in 1999 for their dedication and promotion of the snowmobile sport. Whitey had a great smile that reflected a touch of mischief. He enjoyed all dogs and particularly German Shepherds. Staying active and defying any age barriers was not uncommon for Whitey. He returned to downhill skiing at Blandford Ski Area at the age of 75. He could be seen frequently riding his bicycle on the main and back roads in Huntington. He loved working outdoors and put his multiple International and Ford tractors to good use. He was so very talented and mechanically inclined to bring any piece of machinery back to working order. Horace was predeceased by his wife Charlene (Donovan) Whitaker of 49 years. He was predeceased by siblings Clifford Whitaker, Maxine Reed and Beverly Ostrowski. He is survived by his daughter Holly Whitaker and her husband Ralph Alcock of Nashua, NH, son Timothy and wife Christina Whitaker of Merrimack, NH and son Todd Whitaker and Kimberly Fisk of Huntington, MA. He will be fondly remember by his four grandchildren Mitchell, Gabrielle, Dakota and Phoenix Whitaker. He is survived by siblings Sybil Miezejewski, Beaulah Kidrick, Kay Caputo and husband Tony, Morgan (Jake) Whitaker and wife Carol, Roxanne Nowak and husband Paul, Francis (Gordie) Whitaker and wife Bobbi, Sandy Mazur and husband Rich and Anita Grimm and husband Bill. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Gale Donovan along with many nieces and nephews. The funeral will be held on Saturday December 28th at 11 am in the Pioneer Valley Assembly of God Church, 63 Old Chester Road, Huntington, MA. Burial will be in the spring. Calling hours will held on Friday, at the Firtion-Adams Funeral Service, 76 Broad Street, Westfield from 4-7 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Huntington Ambulance Association, P.O. Box 351, Huntington, MA 01050 or the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Firtionadams.com
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