Tuesday, October 9, 2012
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John L. Whitaker was born in Key West, Fla., on April 19, 1946, and passed away Oct. 2, 2012. He was the only son of Violet Ranger Whitaker (Turner) and Robert C. Whitaker. He married Rosalind Redding, and together they had a daughter, Shawn Whitaker.

John was preceded in death by his father, mother, and sister, Patricia Clayton Ohmes. He is survived by sisters Charlotte LaVigne of Jacksonville, Fla.; Sheila Clark of Weare, N.H., Sharon Pierce of Ocala, Fla., and Cheryl Lynch of Tampa, Fla.; numerous nieces and nephews and aunts Mary Spencer and Florence Gartenmayer, both of Key West.

After graduating from the U.S. Army Southeastern Signal School as a radio relay specialist and carrier operator, John survived a tour of Vietnam. Upon his return to the states, he was decorated with the National Defense Service Medal, along with a Vietnam Service Medal with a Bronze Service Star, a Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with device, and a Good Conduct Medal. John also received citations in the Sharpshooter Rifle Division. His safe return from Vietnam prompted his mother, Violet Turner, to write and produce a single record titled "My Soldier Boy" -- a tribute to her only son. John will rest peacefully and eternally beside his mother.

Burial arrangements are being handled by Castillo and Thurston. Viewing will be from 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11 in the funeral home chapel. Graveside services will follow at 4 p.m. at Southern Keys Cemetery on Big Coppitt Key.