George Whittaker: 1936-2022 | The Daily Chronicle – Centralia Chronicle

Our father passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 14, 2022, at the age of 85. He was born in 1936 in Centralia, Washington, the only child to his beloved parents George E. and Wilma O’Keefe Whittaker. Though an only child, he was blessed to have many aunts and uncles who he was very close to his entire life. He spent his early years in Winlock where his father was the principal of Winlock High School before his father, grandfather (George H.) and two uncles (David and Jack Whittaker) expanded their Adna farmland to include two dairy farms on the Chehalis River in Grand Mound in 1943. 

George attended the old Grand Mound School before graduating from Rochester High School in 1954. He then graduated from Centralia College and attended Washington State University before returning home to partner with his father on the dairy farm. There, George, along with his father and uncles, built one of the largest barns in the area, as well as the house where he started his family with his wife Jeanette Lapsley. George specialized in Jerseys and used his engineering education to innovate equipment and farming practices over the 40 years he farmed. He especially loved his tractors, the bigger, the better. 

After farming, George became a realtor, where he specialized in the Thurston, Lewis and Grays Harbor area. He loved being a realtor, as it allowed him to work with people he loved and allowed him to help the community. Later, he managed a senior housing property in Centralia, again partnering with his father for many years as comanagers, until he retired finally in 2018. 

George volunteered his time to the community, including the Washington State Dairy Federation, Washington State Soil and Water Conservation Commission, the Thurston County Planning Commission, teaching Sunday school and nearly anything else asked of him. He even built the furniture used by the first kindergarten class at the old Rochester Primary School, of which his oldest child was first to attend, and still in use 12 years later when his youngest child started school. 

George loved the ocean beaches of Washington and Oregon, dogs (especially terriers and poodles), model trains, flying kites, dancing and sports cars, of which he had many, including his beloved Mini Cooper. He was a friend to all who knew him, always with a smile and a story, easy to laughter, yet thoughtful and caring, whether it was someone he knew his entire life or a stranger in need. 

George is survived by his children, Karen (Whittaker) McLaughlin, George W. Whittaker and Linda Whittaker; grandchildren, Sarah, Amber, Sean, Brian, Gregory, Angelica, Ron Jr. and Christian; daughter-in-law, Diane; son-in-law, Ron Sr.; and many great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife, Lenore; his beloved parents, George and Wilma; grandson, Joshua; and granddaughter, Emily; sons-in-law, Thomas and Jason; and his buddy and grand-dog, Oscar. 

A celebration of life ceremony will be scheduled in the spring. Thank you to Providence Sound Hospice, Providence Centralia Hospital and Kaiser Permanente for their dedicated care and support.