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Reed Austin Whittaker

1984 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
Reed Austin Whittaker Obituary
Reed Austin Whittaker
August 27, 1984 - December 12, 2013
Former Resident of Moraga
Reed was born and raised in Moraga, California, the only son of Bradford and Sally (Ryland) Whittaker. He was tragically taken from his loving family and friends while enroute to Highland Hospital, where he worked as an Emergency Room Technician. Reed was twenty-nine years old.
Reed will forever be remembered for his kindhearted nature and amazing smile. His upbeat outlook and easy-going style left a legacy of happiness with family and endeared him to a huge circle of friends and colleagues. Always a caring son, as well as devoted big brother to his sister Cary, Reed was a generous guy ready to help whenever needed—a truly selfless and loyal individual.
Without question, Reed's life experiences as a Boy Scout in Moraga's Troop 212 defined his moral character and strong sense of integrity. Advancing through the scout ranks, Reed was honored with repeated awards, but was most proud of achieving Eagle Scout. Scouting gave Reed a true appreciation and love for camping and the outdoors. Two of his favorite memories were going each year to Camp Timberwolf, Bucks Lake, California and a two hundred mile bike trek through the Bavarian Alps.
Reed was not only an accomplished outdoorsman, but also a terrific, all around athlete. He excelled in numerous sports, but ultimately chose soccer, playing more than a decade for Lamorinda Soccer Club and at Campolindo High School. In his teens, Reed was introduced to rugby and quickly tackled the sport. He played scrum half for Lamorinda Rugby Club and later at the University of California Santa Barbara, competing in international matches in Canada and New Zealand.
After graduating from Campolindo in 2003, Reed spent his college years in Santa Barbara enjoying surfing, spear fishing, and a new puppy named Duke. Cary decided to join him on campus three years later, where they enjoyed great times together at UCSB. Reed graduated in 2009, earning a B.A. in Environmental Studies.
A shared family passion was summers spent at the Lair of the Bear, UC Berkeley's Alumni Camp in Pinecrest, California. For some, Disneyland may be the happiest place on Earth, but for the Whittaker kids—it was the Lair. After vacationing for seventeen years with family and friends, Reed was privileged to be on staff at Camp Gold for an additional three years. What he lacked in musical ability and stage presence at campfire shows, he more than made up for with his energy and heart.
Reed was a doer and a giver with steadfast determination. His commitment to help others inspired his post collegiate career path, first as a graduate of Chabot Fire Academy and then working as a Field Training Officer and EMT for Royal Ambulance and Golden Gate Fields in Alameda County. After additional training and intense study, Reed was hired by Highland Hospital's Department of Emergency Medicine in 2013. Recognized as one of the top five ER facilities in the country, Reed embraced the challenge, becoming a tried and true "Highlander."
Reed is survived by his much-loved parents Brad and Sally; best friend and sister Cary; grandfather Glen Ryland; aunts Gail Ryland, Christie Gore, and Pam (husband Mark) Dunckelmann; uncles Stephen Ryland and Robert Whittaker; and many cousins. He was predeceased by his grandparents Austin and Jane Whittaker; grandmother Corky Ryland; and aunt Joyce Whittaker.
Friends and family are invited to celebrate Reed's life on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church, 10 Moraga Valley Lane in Moraga. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to the Reed Whittaker Memorial Fund online at www.reedwhittakermemorialfund.mydagsite.com.


Published in Contra Costa Times on Jan. 21, 2014
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