Merlin E. “Pete” Whitaker, age 79 of the Haynes Knob Community passed away on December 29, 2018 at his residence. Mr. Whitaker was born on January 13, 1939 in the Acorn Community of Pulaski County to Deris Arthur and Dorsa Hargis Whitaker.

Mr. Whitaker was a member of the of the Acorn Church of God and attended the Buck Creek Baptist Church and New Hope Baptist Church. He served in the United States Army starting in April 1958 were he served for eight years and completed two tours of duty in Germany. Pete continued his service to his country and community by being a member of Haynes Knob Fire Department for 33 years, where he served as chief, assistant chief (where he was currently serving), President of the Board of Directors, and a Lifetime member of the Somerset-Pulaski County Rescue Squad. He was a retired truck driver doing various stints for Greenwood Trucking, Bill Gill, Eldridge Trucking, Colyer Nationwide, Ronnie Dick and other companies. Pete was known for his love of Fords, Especially Thunderbirds.

He was preceded in death by his father, Deris Whitaker; mother, Dorsa Hargis Whitaker; father in law, Marlin Woodall; brother, Noel Lynn Whitaker; sister-in-law, Mary Jo Dykes Whtiaker; and a grandson, Skyler Whitaker.

Mr. Whitaker leaves behind to cherish her memory, his memory, loving wife Stella Lee Woodall Whitaker whom he married on March 5, 1998; son, Edwin Scott Whitaker (Sandie) of Somerset; daughters, Gina Lynn Jones of Lexington and Robin Gail Whitaker of Somerset; brothers, Marvin Whitaker {Glenna) of Somerset and Darrell Whitaker (Virginia); sister, Anita White of Science Hill; grandchildren, Chris Jones, Debra Jones, Shaylan Oates, Kayla Oates, Zachary Whitaker, Katlynn Whitaker, Samantha Whitaker, Tanika Whitaker, and Dustin Whitaker; great grandchildren, Racheal Jones, Jacob York, Bailee York, and Juniper Jones; mother in law, Vera Woodall of Somerset, and several neices and nephews.

Visitation for Mr. Whitaker will be Tuesday, January 1, 2018, at 5 P.M. in the Chapel of Southern Oaks Funeral Home.

Funeral Services will be on Wednesday, January 2, 2018, at 2 P.M. with Bro. Scotty Nix, Bro. Chris Jones and Bro. Dalous Sears officiating. Full military honors will be conducted by American Legion Post #38 Honor Guard. Interment will be at Pine Thickett Cemetery.

Southern Oaks Funeral Home entrusted with the arrangements for Mr. Merlin “Pete” Whitaker.