Harry F. Whitaker
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Harry F. Whitaker
  • June 19, 1927 - November 5, 2017
  • Peoria, Illinois

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Harry F. Whitaker, 90, of Peoria, passed away Sunday, November 5, 2017 at Lutheran Hillside Village in Peoria.
Born on June 19, 1927 in Cynthiana, Kentucky to Sydney and Myrtle (Kerns) Whitaker; he married the former Mary Arlene Chandler on April 23, 1950 at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria.

Surviving are his wife, Arlene, of Peoria; his sons, Gary (Becky) and Dan (Kim), all of Moline, Illinois; grandchildren, Christopher (Laurie) of Morton, Jeff (Megan) of Chicago, Michael (Kara)of Minneapolis, Emily of Denver, John of New York City, Sarah (Aaron) Seiler of Chicago, and Mark of Chicago; and great grandchildren, Carly, Cole, Logan, Nathan, Luke, Scott and Hanna.

Preceding him in death were two brothers and three sisters. Harry graduated from Woodruff High School before entering the US Navy and serving in WWII in the Pacific Theater.

He then attended and graduated from Bradley University before becoming a teacher. He enjoyed a 38 year career in education beginning in 1950 with his first teaching position in Sunnyland. Harry then joined Peoria High School in 1954 where he served as a teacher (English), coach (Assistant Football, Head Baseball, Head Basketball and Golf), counselor, and finally principal. Then in 1972 he was named Assistant Superintendent of Peoria District 150 schools and in 1974 was named Superintendent of District 150 serving until his retirement in 1988.

Harry was honored to have been selected to the Sports Hall of Fame for Woodruff High School and Peoria High School. He is also a member of Bradley University Hall of Fame and the Greater Peoria Area Sports Hall of Fame.

In retirement, he and Arlene spent 28 winters in Alabama. He loved following his grandchildren and their activities, Chicago Cubs, reading, and playing golf. He was proud to serve on many boards and organizations throughout the community.

Harry was a member of Grace Presbyterian Church where a funeral service will be held at 10:30 am Friday, November 10, 2017 with the Rev. John Hopwood officiating. Private entombment will follow at American Mausoleum. Visitation will be 4:00 to 6:00 pm Thursday, November 9, at the Davison-Fulton Woolsey-Wilton Funeral Home, 2408 West Willow Knolls Dr. in Peoria.

Memorials are suggested to Bradley University or Grace Presbyterian Church.