Thomas P. Whitaker, Jr., 71, of Bellefontaine, passed away Saturday afternoon, August 2, 2014 at The Ohio State University Hospital-East following a courageous battle against pulmonary fibrosis. He was born in Bardstown, Kentucky on August 24, 1942 to the late Thomas P. and Mary Ellen (Smith) Whitaker, Sr. He was also preceded in death by a sister Beverly Lawton.
A US 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.
Tom married the former Janice Payne on November 27, 1964 in Charlestown, Indiana and she survives in Bellefontaine. He is also survived by sons Darren (Johni) Whitaker of Bellefontaine and Brian Whitaker of Fairborn, Ohio; 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, IN, Jim (Kay) Whitaker of New Albany, IN; four sisters, Ann (Harold) Wilbourn of Louisville, KY, Jan Powell of Jeffersonville, IN, Sally (George) Doss of Charlestown, IN and Bonnie (Leonard) DeYoung of Rensselaer, IN; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Pastor Gene Phelps will officiate the funeral service on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 11am at Eichholtz Funeral Home, Bellefontaine where the visitation will be held Tuesday, August 5, 2014 from 5-8pm and one hour prior to the service on Wednesday. Burial will be in Bellefontaine Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to American Lung Association in Ohio, National Processing Center, PO Box 7000, Albert Lea, MN 56007-8000.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.edsfh.com.