Arthur Whitaker, 78, of Lewiston, Idaho, passed away of cancer at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.
I was born to Maude and Edwin Whitaker Jan. 19, 1934, on a homestead 40 miles north of Rudyard, Mont. Together my parents raised 14 children, of which I was fifth in line. I attended school in Havre, Mont. I joined the Air Force in 1952, during the Korean War. I was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1956, the same year I married Penny Bennett, settling in Havre. From this union six children were born. That marriage ended in divorce in 1994.
After fulfilling my military duties, I worked for Havre Ford Dealership as a Ford mechanic for 40 years. I took time off as a mechanic during the fall and served as a guide and outfitter, packing horses and mules in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. I continued the outfitter and guide business for 38 years. My greatest passion was elk hunting. I also loved to shoot archery, fish, was a farrier, an artist, and a poet. In 1999 I moved to Lewiston, Idaho, where I met my soul mate and best friend, Patricia George.
Preceding me in my death, were my parents; brothers, Bruce, George, Ben and Alfred; and sister, Joanne.
Survivors include brothers, Bob of Powell, Wyo., Elmer of Roseburg, Ore., Walt of Clarkston, Wash, Don of Farmington, Utah, Eddy of Mayfield, Utah, Allen of Olney, Mont. ; and sisters, Lora Hall and Bessie Self, both of Hillsboro, Ore.
Surviving are my six children, LaRae Koski of Colstrip, Mont., Vickie Ehrlekrona of Billings, Mont. ; Steven Whitaker of Loveland, Colo., Kimi Leturgez of Fort Collins, Colo., Julie Mock of Enid, Okla., and James Whitaker of Salt Lake City, Utah. I am also survived by 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of my life will be held on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, 633 Fifth Ave., Lewiston, Idaho. The Rosary will begin at 10:30 a. m., followed by the funeral Mass beginning at 11 a. m., with a luncheon to follow in the Parish Center.
Vassar-Rawls Funeral Home is in charge of cremation. Interment will take place at a later date in the Kamiah, Idaho, Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances in my name may be made to a charitable organization of your choice.