Daniel Paul Whitaker
Born March 26, 1947 in Windber, PA Dan was the son of the late Paul Whitaker and the late Betty Simmons Whitaker.
Daniel was a veteran of the United States Army and entered the service July 31, 1965 at Fort Knox, Kentucky for basic training. He completed his AIT training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He served as a combat engineer in Company A, 818th Engineer Battalion, Corp of Engineers in Vietnam doing two tours of duty. During the years 1965-1968, he received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device 1960, Expert (M-14) Medal, and 3 Overseas Bars. On December 18, 1968, he was discharged from Fort Benning, GA. Daniel was a lifetime member of the VFW Post 1835 in Franklin, Pa and a member of the American Legion on the national level.
Mr. Whitaker had worked as a “puller” at Bethlehem Steel and as a miner for the Florence Mining Company from 1975-1977 until the Johnstown Flood of 1977 permanently closed the mine. After two previous marriages, Dan was married September 26, 1980 to the former Judy A. Griffen Stitt and became an over the road trucker for a few years. He and his wife and children then relocated to the Franklin, Pa area where he worked as a residential service aide for Polk Center for 17 years before retiring.
He was a past member of the Maple Cave Flying Club where he enjoyed the friendship and companionship of fellow members, especially Jeff Rough and his father, Huck who were also his best friends. He golfed occasionally back in the 1980’s. He was an avid fisherman and hunter until health prevented him from enjoying those sports. He enjoyed birdwatching, planting flowers, doing yardwork, woodworking and built many lovely pieces for friends and family. He also enjoyed going to casinos occasionally and building model trucks.
He is survived by his spouse, Judy A. Whitaker, and his three sons, Richard Ralph Stitt and his wife, Elizabeth, of Emlenton, PA, Gerald Lee Stitt and his wife, Shelly, of Stoneboro, PA, and James Michael Stitt and his wife, Jessica, of Guys Mills, PA. He is survived by 10 beautiful grandchildren whom he dearly loved. He is also survived by his oldest sister Pauletta (Whitaker) Hunter of Rutledge, Tennessee, Joyce (Whitaker) Belles and her husband, Gary of Bedford, PA, and Jeanne (Whitaker – Henry) and her husband, Rick of Connellsville, PA. In addition, he is survived by multiple nieces and nephews, as well as great nieces and great nephews and other extended family members in Homer City and Blarisville, PA and Georgia.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Mark Whitaker.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to Huff – Guthrie Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc., 312 West Park St. Franklin where a private viewing and funeral service will be held for the family due to the restrictions from COVID-19.
A funeral service will be “live streamed” on the funeral home Facebook Page at 1:00 P.M. Wednesday. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/HuffFuneralHome and like the page to be notified when it begins.
Interment will be at the Franklin Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Erie VA Medical Center or the Infusion Center at UPMC Northwest in lieu of flowers. Dan dearly loved and appreciated these doctors and nurses.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.HuffFuneral.com.
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