Robert “Bob” Whitaker, 84, of Muskogee, died Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at Eastar Health Systems Muskogee. He was born July 29, 1928 in Maysville, DeKalb County, Missouri to Robert Lester and Opal Marie (Warthman) Whitaker. Bob graduated from Central High School in St. Joseph, Missouri, where he played a variety of sports and was named the overall best athlete in the city his senior year. He continued his education at Central Methodist College in Fayette, Missouri and played catcher for a semi-professional baseball team. He also loved to referee basketball games.
Bob served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War on the Secretary of State’s plane traveling around the world. On September 19, 1958, Bob married Phyllis Louise Smith, having met her four months earlier on Memorial Day weekend. She preceded him in death on December 28, 2007. He worked for many years in retail, serving as operating manager and store manager for various Montgomery Ward stores in Iowa, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma. He later worked for C. R. Anthony as a store manager in Tulsa, Catoosa and Sand Springs. He retired in 1997.
He was a member of First United Methodist Church where he belonged to the Friendship Sunday School Class, and was a founding member of New Days Cancer Support Group. He enjoyed watching team sports and especially loved playing dominoes.
Bob is survived by three children and their spouses, Barbara and Rob McAtee of Overland Park, Kansas, Terri and Frank Godman of Muskogee, Timothy and Rachel Whitaker of Paducah, Kentucky, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 600 E. Okmulgee, Muskogee, OK 74403.
Funeral services will be at 10:00 AM Monday, July 1, 2013 at First United Methodist Church. Interment will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery.
Funeral service arrangements are under the direction of Foster-Petering Funeral Home. Condolences to the family may be made at www.foster-petering.com