Mr. John Will “Jay” Whitaker, age 94 passed away peacefully on September 9, 2021.  Jay was born on August 2, 1927.  He married his sweetheart, Thelma OckermanWhitaker, on February 25, 1951.  He was a decorated sharpshooter, Air Force Veteran of World War II, serving in thePacific.  He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, brother, and friend.  He was a man of many talents, including roller skating, square dancing, guitar playing, and woodworking.  He was an avid bass fisherman, water skier, and billiard player.  His career was in the automotive field.  He loved Jesus, his church, and Sunday School Class.  He was a proud member of the First Baptist Church of Astor, Florida.  Jay was preceded in death by his parents, Ezra Shirley Whitaker and Mildred (Minnie) Frances Thurman Whitaker, Brothers, Everet Whitaker and Ira Whitaker, and Sisters, Arilia, Mary, and Shirley.

Survivors include:   Beloved wife of 70 years, Thelma Faye Ockerman Whitaker; Daughter, Toni Lynn Whitaker Prater and husband, Michael Lynn; Son, John Timothy Whitaker, and wife, Nancy; Grandchildren, John,Jenny, Anthony, and Daniel; Nine great-grandchildren.  Many nieces and nephews who will miss their uncle Jay.  He was a friend to everyone who knew him and will be missed by all.     

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 9, 2022, at 1:00 P.M. at New HorizonBaptist Church with Bro. Paul Cordell officiating.  Interment to follow at Powell Valley Cemetery with Military Honors conducted by the Campbell County Honor Guard.  Visitation will be from 12:00 – 1:00 P.M.before Services.  The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to:  New Horizon Baptist Church, P. O. Box 459, LaFollette, TN 37766, Campbell County Honor Guard, 705 E. Central Ave., LaFollette, TN  37766, or First BaptistChurch of Astor, FL, 24731 Ann St., Astor, FL 32102.  Walters Funeral Home of LaFollette is honored to be serving the family of Mr. John Will “Jay” Whitaker.