Thursday, February 26, 2009
CHAFFEE, Mo. -- Our dear Jean Ann Whitaker, 73, of Chaffee died Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009.
She was born Sept. 24, 1935, in Hartville, Mo., daughter of I.W. "Buster" and Emogene Fuge. She married Ronnie Whitaker June 9, 1957.
Survivors include her husband; a son, Steven Whitaker and daughter-in-law Karen of Chaffee; a grandson, Bret Whitaker of Blacksburg, Va.; and a granddaughter, Stefanie Whitaker of Jonesboro, Ark.
A beloved son, Mark Whitaker, and her parents preceded her in death.
Jean graduated from high school at Hartville and went to college at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield. While in college she loved being an Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority member. After graduating from SMS with a degree in elementary education, she taught her first year in Springfield. After marrying Ronnie they moved to Albuquerque, N.M., where she taught three years.
Jean and Ron moved back to Chaffee in 1960, where she taught first grade for the next 32 years and never stopped enjoying the thrill of seeing youngsters learn to read.
She volunteered as a leader for Cub Scouts, Chaffee PTA, and supported extracurricular activities for Chaffee youth. As a Chaffee Park Board member she planned weekly sports camps in the summer and planted flowers in the parks.
She enjoyed studying to become a Master Gardener and wrote a weekly column many years in the Scott County Signal. She worked at Circle Park to plant trees and maintained the downtown planters at Main and Yoakum. She also helped to build and beautify the Downtown Park. She later enlisted the help of the War Child Riding Group in maintaining the park. She was proud to be an honorary member. Jean was a member of First United Methodist Church in Chaffee, and for many years worked to decorate the sanctuary for the seasons.
As a cancer survivor, Jean strived to help other women who were fighting breast cancer as she volunteered with Reach to Recovery. She also had a Relay for Life team many years.
One of Jean's great passions was establishing the Chaffee Public School Foundation. She held the position of president of the foundation and enjoyed finally seeing the scholarships awarded last May.
Visitation will be held at 4 p.m. Friday at Amick-Burnett Funeral Chapel in Chaffee.
The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the chapel, with the Rev. Frank Hustead officiating.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Chaffee Public School Foundation at First Commercial Bank of Chaffee.