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John M. Whitaker


1950 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
John M. Whitaker Obituary
December 14, 1950 - February 18, 2016 John Malmström Whitaker passed into Spirit on February 18, 2016, in Lancaster, California. He was born on December 14, 1950, to George Parks Whitaker and Anita Malmström Whitaker. His dear sister, Maria Louise, was adopted 12 years later. John is survived by his beloved wife, Linda, and their son, David, as well as extended family across the United States and in Finland, the birthplace of his mother, Anita. He is predeceased by his mother, father and sister. John and Linda married in Triadelphia, West Virginia, on July 30, 1974. On a visit with John's parents at Old Trail Farm, his mother said, "Why don't you get married right here in the rose garden?" And they did ten days later, surrounded by family and friends! It was 12 years before their beloved son, David, was born. He is a blessing that fills their hearts and lives. John was a lifelong learner and educator. His university degrees include a B.A from Middlebury College (1975), an M.E. from the University of Vermont (1977), a Master's Degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica (1984), and a Ph.D. from the Professional School for Psychological Studies (1988). John was one of the founding faculty members of the University of Santa Monica's Counseling Psychology Program. As licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, he and Linda had a private practice in Palmdale, CA for 23 years. Additionally, John worked as Clinical Director for the Children's Bureau in the Antelope Valley, where he wrote and administered a multimillion-dollar grant for early intervention and child abuse prevention services for families at risk. His innovative influence is still active today in the work of Yes2Kids, Partnership for Families, Welcome Baby, and Mayor Antonovich's Policy Roundtable for Child Care and Development. John's intellectual brilliance and unwavering advocacy for children and families brought dignity to many lives. John's spiritual focus was ever present and of primary importance to him. He was an Ordained Minister in the Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness. He had a consciousness of service and his kindness, generosity, and leave-it-better-than-you-found-it-policy made our world a better place. John loved to celebrate. Many a dance floor has been graced by his footsteps. All who knew him experienced his abundant joy and good humor. John, we are celebrating you now as your loving dances in our hearts. Two memorial services will be held. Easter Sunday, March 27, at 3PM, University of Santa Monica, 2107 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 829-7402. This service will be broadcast live online at: http://tinyurl.com/JohnWhitakerMemorial Saturday, May 28, at 11AM, Sandscrest 143 Sandcrest Road, Wheeling, WV 20063, for both John and Anita. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the University of Santa Monica.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Feb. 28 to Mar. 1, 2016
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