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William T. Whittaker


1922 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
William T. Whittaker
1922 - 2012
GREAT BARRINGTON - William "Bill" Whittaker, 89, of Great Barrington, died peacefully on May 26, 2012, surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Pittsfield on Sept. 14, 1922, Bill was the son of William T. Whittaker and Mary Lyman Whittaker and was educated in Pittsfield schools. At 17, Bill met and fell in love with the former Ruth L. Haskins, who would become his lifelong partner and devoted wife. They were married on March 28, 1942, and shared 70 years of love and laughter.
A World War II veteran, Bill was inducted into the Army on Nov. 30, 1942.He served as a rifleman in Italy in the 34th Infantry Division, Company F, Red Bull Division. He received the Good Conduct and Victory Medals, the Europe Africa Met Campaign Ribbon and the American Theater Campaign Ribbon during his three years of service.
Upon his return from the war, Bill completed training as a machinist for GE. He spent his early years working for May Engineering before discovering his gift for sales. He soon opened his first business, an appliance store. His work for Scarafoni Lincoln Mercury, beginning in 1955, led to the career in car sales he would continue to build throughout his life. He owned several auto dealerships during his career, including Whittaker Ford, Village Auto Sales, Whittaker Oldsmobile-Jeep, Whittaker Chevrolet, and Whittaker Convenience Store, and took pride in his loyal following of customers. After retiring from business ownership in the late eighties, he returned to work as a record-setting salesman for Pete's Motors in Great Barrington until his final retirement in 2004 at age 82. Along the way Bill took in some interesting things in trade: a freezer filled with 200 frozen chickens, a bulldozer, a donkey, a tractor and even a Sherman tank.
He was a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a former member of the Freemasons. He enjoyed playing tennis and was past President of the Nettles Island Tennis Club, Jensen Beach, FL.
Bill was a kind and devoted husband, father and grandfather. His generosity, strength, and humor were an inspiration to many and he will be greatly missed.
He leaves his loving wife, Ruth L. Whittaker. He is also survived by four sons, William Jr. and his wife Ellen of Great Barrington, Jon of Great Barrington, Daniel and his wife Robin of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Timothy and his wife Patricia of Sheffield; two daughters, Lynne Whittaker of Agawam and Jane Whittaker and her husband Don Torrico of North Egremont; 11 grandchildren, Karen Whittaker, Michael Whittaker, Danielle Whittaker Piazza, William Whittaker, Brian Whittaker, Taylor Whittaker, Amy Whittaker Warner, Ned Whittaker Torrico, Jennifer Whittaker, Tara Whittaker and Emily Whittaker; and seven great-grandchildren, Edward Bailey, Brittany Whittaker, Nicholas Whittaker, Scarlett Whittaker Ivas, Trista Whittaker Ivas, Brayden Whittaker, and Malcolm Andrews.
He was predeceased by three sisters, Leonora Standfield, Sally Whittaker and Marjorie Pompi.
FUNERAL NOTICE: A graveside funeral service with Military Honors for William Whittaker, who died May 26, will be held on Wednesday, May 30, at 11 a.m. at Pelton Brook Cemetery, Great Barrington, with the Rev. Richard Hayes, chaplain for Hospice- Care in the Berkshires, officiating. Family will receive friends on Tuesday, May 29, from 4-6 p.m. at the BIRCHES-ROY FUNERAL HOME.
Contributions in Bill's honor will be welcomed by Pittsfield Soldier On and by HospiceCare in the Berkshires, and can be made in care of BIRCHES-ROY FUNERAL HOME, 33 South St., Great Barrington , MA 01230. Condolences may be made through birchesroyfh.com.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on May 28, 2012
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