Master Sergeant Kenneth C. Whitaker, USAF Retired, age 79, of Sharptown Road, passed away on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at MedWest - Haywood.
A native of Haywood County, he was the son of the late James Cornelius and Velma Meadows Whitaker. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Sheila Carol Roberson, who died in August, 2012.
He attended West Canton Baptist Church. Master Sergeant Kenneth C. Whitaker enlisted in the Army National Guard of the United States on April 27, 1949. He was assigned to the 30th Signal Company, 30th Division of the Army National Guard of North Carolina at Canton, North Carolina, where he served as a supply clerk, store keeper supply clerk, and armored specialist. He was discharged from the Army National Guard on January 8, 1956. On January 9, 1956, he enlisted in the United States Air Force at Charlotte, North Carolina and received his basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas. He then entered the aircraft maintenance specialist career field at Sheppard AFB, Texas where he received training on reciprocating engine aircraft. Sergeant Whitaker has served overseas tours at Goose Bay AB, Labrador, Clark AB, Phillippines, Ernest Harmon AFB, New Foundland, Tan Sun Knut AB, Vietnam, Camron Bay, Vietnam and Keflavik, Iceland. In the United States he has been stationed at Lackland AFB, Texas, Sheppard AFB, Texas, Barksdale AFB, LA., McGuire AFB, New Jersey, Minot AFB, North Dakota, Sewart AFB, Tennessee, Forbes AFB, Kansas, and Dover AFB, Delaware. He has worked on such aircraft as C-124, KC-97, C-47, T-33, F-106, C-133, C-130, C-141 and C-5A. He performed duties as crew chief, flightline expeditor, NCOIC of non-powered aircraft ground equipment, mobility NCO, dock chief and NCOIC of aircraft 780 equipment section. Sergeant Whitaker has served 31 years in military service. He has completed 23 years and 8 months active service with the United States Air Force. Following his military career, he worked at Lea Industries.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Katherine Thomason Whitaker of Canton; two sons, Kenneth S. Whitaker and his wife, Susan, of Toccoa, Georgia and Rickey Whitaker of Camden, Delaware; two sisters, Carie Rhinehart and her husband, Henry, of Canton and Marie Gibson of Lakeland, Florida; two brothers, Robert Whitaker and his wife, Rosa Lee of Asheville and Billy Whitaker of Alto Loma, California; four grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, January 4, 2013 at West Canton Baptist Church with the Reverend George Holley officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park with military honors conducted by the United States Air Force. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Thursday at Wells Funeral Home of Canton.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to West Canton Baptist Church Building Fund, 75 Lowe Street, Canton, NC 28716.
Read Kenneth Whitaker's Obituary and Guestbook on wellsfuneralhome.com.