Kenneth “Duck” Whitaker, 85, of Hamilton, passed away on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, at Great River Medical Center in Burlington, Iowa.
Duck was born on May 17, 1935, in Parker, South Dakota, the son of Charles and Dorothy (McCorkell) Whitaker. He graduated from Hamilton High School in 1954 after contracting polio and taking a year off of school. He was united in marriage to his wife of fifty-three years Janet Biggs on May 19, 1957, in Hamilton, Illinois. She preceded him in death on April 27, 2011.
Duck was a member of Hamilton United Methodist Church and a pillar of the Hamilton community. He always generously supported the local organizations and sports boosters and was actively involved in the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department for forty-four years. Duck could often be found on Friday nights volunteering on the Hamilton Cardinals Football Chain Gang. He loved his community and never stopped giving back to it. Duck owned and operated grocery stores for most of his working career, owning stores in Hamilton (1972 – 2009), Nauvoo (1995 – 2014) and New London, Iowa. He enjoyed spending his free time playing cards with his brothers, and he never missed his grandchildren’s sporting events. He loved to take fishing trips to Canada with his family and friends, but most of all, he loved his family above all else.
Duck is survived by his son Randyl Whitaker of Hamilton; five grandchildren: Lacey (Adam) Dilbeck of Danvers, Illinois, Jesse Whitaker of Anchorage, Alaska, Rikke Whitaker (Joe Manola) of Normal, Illinois, Wesley Whitaker (Caitlin Robb) of Chicago, Illinois, and Nicholas (Elizabeth) Whitaker of Burlington, Iowa; three great-grandchildren: Elena and Ryland Dilbeck and Veda Whitaker; five brothers: Melvin Whitaker of Hamilton, Stan (Marge) Whitaker of Keokuk, Jerry Whitaker of Warsaw, Bill (Phyllis) Whitaker of Carthage and Mike (Pam) Whitaker of Keokuk; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Duck is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Janet, three brothers: Duane, Lowell and Dennis, and his son Kenneth.
Due to Covid-19, a private family graveside service will be held at Oakwood Cemetery in Hamilton, Illinois. A Celebration of Duck’s life will be held at a later date
A memorial has been established and may be directed to the family in care of Randyl Whitaker.
Tributes and condolences may be left at www.printyfuneralhome.com.
Printy Funeral Home of Hamilton is in charge of arrangements.