Barbara T. Whittaker

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Barbara T. Whittaker

SANFORD - Barbara T. Whittaker, 89, of Cottage Street in Sanford, died in peace with her family by her side on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, at the Newton Center.

She was born in Kennebunk on Nov. 16, 1923, the daughter of Albert V. and Eleanor (Seed) Shepard.

Barbara graduated from Sanford High School, Class of 1942, and received her certification from the Maine State Library and took many courses throughout the years.

Barbara married John Whittaker in October 1943 and began her career in 1952 as a substitute clerk at the Louis B. Goodall Memorial Library. She served for many years as librarian at the Carpenter Branch Library. In 1979, she assumed the post of children's librarian at the main library.

Arts-and-craft sessions and school visits were among her specialties, but she was most interested in the encouragement of the reading habits in all children. Getting the right book to the right child was important to her. Barbara was always ready to help them and listen to their stories.

Barbara was the recipient of the Jefferson Award on Feb. 28, 1986. She was humbled by the recognition and award, as she was a natural advocate for children.

Barbara and her family enjoyed their cottages at Wilson Lake, and she had an open-door policy at the cottage or at her home in Sanford. Many times she would sit and watch the activities within her neighborhood; being a longtime resident, she knew generations of parents and children.

She was so thankful when she received help from others, and she'd be one of the first to rally for others that needed a helping hand.

Following the death of her husband, John, Barbara traveled to Germany and England to visit her sons, who were active in the military. With her "girlfriends," Barbara traveled to Disney World and explored the Amish Country in Pennsylvania and enjoyed Texas during the winter months.

Barbara was a faithful member of Crossroads United Methodist Church in Sanford and taught Sunday school for many years.

Her warmth, humor and "can-do attitude" made the room light up when she entered the room. Barbara was a special woman who loved her family and children, and was the best Nana to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She is survived by her two sons, William A. Whittaker, and wife, Sharon, and Harry R. Whittaker and wife, Linda, both of Killeen, Texas; her stepson, John R. Whittaker, of Sanford; 10 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and 5 great-great grandchildren.

Barbara was predeceased by her husband, John, her son, Norman, and her daughter, Sandra Dwyer.

A funeral service was held at Barbara's church, Crossroads United Methodist Church, on Monday, Feb. 25, with Pastor Mimi Mills officiating. Family and friends visited before the service at the church.

Committal Prayers and burial will be later this spring in the family lot at Oakdale Cemetery in Sanford.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Crossroads United Methodist Church, 16 Grammar Road, Sanford, Maine 04073.

To leave a message of condolence for the family, please visit

The Autumn Green Funeral Home, 47 Oak Street in Alfred, is respectfully handling arrangements.

Published in Fosters from Feb. 27 to Mar. 2, 2013