James Paul Whitaker, 95, of Lake Wales passed away Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at Grace Health Care.
He was born Nov. 10, 1917, in Gordon, Ala., to the late Julius Augustus and Dicey Wilkerson Whitaker; and he came here from Sumter County, Fla., in 1929.
Soon after graduating from Lake Wales High School he joined the Army when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, and was attached to a chemical warfare group.
After World War II he returned to Lake Wales and got a job with the Florida Power Corp., retiring after 50 years of service — the longest anyone has ever worked for that company. He was a member of the First Christian Church, serving as an elder and Sunday School teacher for 45 years. He was instrumental in the development of Lake Aurora Christian Assembly, serving as its Treasurer for 25 years. He was a member of the VFW and operated the lights for the Black Hills Passion Play for many years.
Mr. Whitaker enjoyed swimming, dancing and outdoor activities; and in his younger years, he was active in the Lake Wales Little League.
Paul was preceded in death by his wife, Genevieve P. Whitaker in 1997; four sisters, Grace Albritton, Carmen Guida, Carlene Hart and Ruthie Mae Tolar; one brother, Russell Aubrey Whitaker.
Survivors include his son, J. Aubrey Whitaker (Judi) of Lake Wales; two grandchildren, Allison Whitaker Guerra and Steven Whitaker (Megan); three grandchildren, Ashleigh Guerra, Sydnie and Sophia Whitaker.
Visitation is from 2 p.m. until the funeral service at 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at the Marion Nelson Funeral Home in Lake Wales.
Memorial donations may be sent in his honor to Lake Aurora Christian Camp or Florida Christian College in Kissimmee.
Condolences may be sent to the family and the webcast of the service can be viewed at www.marionnelsonfuneral
Marion Nelson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.