Master Sgt. Kenneth C. Whitaker, USAF Retired

Jan 02, 2013

1933 — 2013

CANTON – Master Sergeant Kenneth C. Whitaker, USAF Retired,  79, of Sharptown Road, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, at MedWest-Haywood.

A native of Haywood County, he was the son of the late James Cornelius and Velma Meadows Whitaker.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Sheila Carol Roberson, who died August, 2012.

He attended West Canton Baptist Church.  Master Sergeant Kenneth C. Whitaker enlisted in the Army National Guard of the United States April 27, 1949.  He was assigned to the 30th Signal Company, 30th Division of the Army National Guard of North Carolina, at Canton, where he served as a supply clerk, store keeper supply clerk, and armored specialist.  He was discharged from the Army National Guard Jan. 8, 1956.  On Janu. 9, 1956, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at Charlotte, and received his basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas.  He then entered the aircraft maintenance specialist career field at Sheppard AFB, Texas, where he received training on reciprocating engine aircraft.  Sergeant Whitaker has served overseas tours at Goose Bay AB, Labrador, Clark AB, Phillippines, Ernest Harmon AFB, New Foundland, Tan Sun Knut AB, Vietnam, Camron Bay, Vietnam and Keflavik, Iceland.  In the U.S., he has been stationed at Lackland AFB, Texas, Sheppard AFB, Texas, Barksdale AFB, LA., McGuire AFB, New Jersey, Minot AFB, North Dakota, Sewart AFB, Tennessee, Forbes AFB, Kansas, and Dover AFB, Delaware.  He has worked aircraft such as C-124, KC-97, C-47, T-33, F-106, C-133, C-130, C-141 and C-5A.  He performed duties as crew chief, flightline expeditor, NCOIC of non-powered aircraft ground equipment, mobility NCO, dock chief and NCOIC of aircraft 780 equipment section.  Sergeant Whitaker has served 31 years in military service.  He has completed 23 years and 8 months active service with the U.S. Air Force.  Following his military career, he worked at Lea Industries.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Katherine Thomason Whitaker, of Canton; two sons, Kenneth S. Whitaker, and his wife, Susan, of Toccoa, Georgia, and Rickey Whitaker, of Camden, Delaware; two sisters, Carie Rhinehart, and her husband, Henry, of Canton, and Marie Gibson, of Lakeland, Florida; two brothers, Robert Whitaker, and his wife, Rosa Lee, of Asheville, and Billy Whitaker, of Alto Loma, California; four grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4,  at West Canton Baptist Church with the Rev. George Holley officiating.  Burial will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, with military honors conducted by the U. S. Air Force.  The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Wells Funeral Home of Canton.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to West Canton Baptist Church Building Fund, 75 Lowe Street, Canton, NC  28716.

For those who desire, an online memorial register is available at

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