Thomas P. Whitaker Jr., 71, of Bellefontaine, passed away Saturday afternoon, Aug. 2, 2014, at The Ohio State University Hospital-East following a courageous battle against pulmonary fibrosis.
He was born in Bardstown, Ky. on Aug. 24, 1942, to the late Thomas P. and Mary Ellen (Smith) Whitaker, Sr. He was also preceded in death by a sister, Beverly Lawton.
Tom married the former Janice Payne on Nov. 27, 1964, in Charlestown, Ind., and she survives in Bellefontaine. He is also survived by sons Darren (Johni) Whitaker of Bellefontaine and Brian Whitaker of Fairborn; five grandchildren, Kyle (Skyler) Whitaker of Bellefontaine, Meagan (Zach) Woodruff of Xenia, Katy, Jenna and Kylie Whitaker, all of Fairborn; a great-granddaughter Alexis Whitaker; two brothers, Bill (Roxanna) Whitaker of Jeffersonville, Ind., and Jim (Kay) Whitaker of New Albany, Ind.; four sisters, Ann (Harold) Wilbourn of Louisville, Ky., Jan Powell of Jeffersonville, Ind., Sally (George) Doss of Charlestown, Ind., and Bonnie (Leonard) DeYoung of Rensselaer, Ind.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A U.S. Army veteran, Tom was the owner/operator of the Bellefontaine Kentucky Fried Chicken for 28 years. He was an avid golfer and was fortunate to have carded a hole-in-one six different times. He was a past-Club Champion (1992) at the Bellefontaine Country Club. Tom and his wife Janice enjoyed traveling and spending winters at their Florida home in north Ft. Myers.
Pastor Gene Phelps will officiate the funeral service at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6 at Eichholtz Funeral Home, Bellefontaine, where the visitation will be held Tuesday, Aug. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. and one hour prior to the service on Wednesday. Burial will be in the Bellefontaine Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to American Lung Association in Ohio, National Processing Center, P.O. Box 7000, Albert Lea, MN 56007-8000.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.edsfh.com