Timothy Wayne Whitaker

Published 1:26 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Timothy Wayne Whitaker, 75, of Keller, husband of Melba Jarvis Whitaker, passed away Thursday, March 28, at his home in Keller, Va.

Born on October 5, 1948, in Vicksburg, he was the son of the late Ernest O. and Dorothy Graddy Whitaker.

Timothy graduated from Millsap’s College in Jackson and received a Master of Divinity from Emory University.

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He also received two honorary doctoral degrees from Florida Southern University and Bethune-Cookman University. Timothy served in congregations in Mississippi, Virginia, and Florida.

He was the district superintendent for Norfolk, retiring after serving 12 years as bishop of the UMC in Florida.

Tim, as he was called by everyone, had many interests in life. Growing up in the forests of Redwood, Miss., he developed a lifelong appreciation of trees, skies, and all of God’s creatures.

This led him to be on a continual litter patrol in his community in retirement so that others could appreciate nature as well.

He also enjoyed sailing the creeks around the Eastern Shore in his small sailboat and cycling the country roads and city streets to relax his body and mind.

As a gifted theologian, Tim was able to read and understand the most obscure and difficult writings of erudite theologians from all historical periods and then translate the knowledge so that all could understand it. He also had a deep love of poetry that fed his soul throughout his life.

Tim remained a teacher to all until the end of his life through his writings and his total acceptance of God’s will for him. Through this, he strengthened the faith of friends and family.

Other than his wife, Melba, Timothy is survived by two sons, Steven “Scott” Whitaker and wife, Michele of Onley, Va. and Richard “Eric” Whitaker and wife, Mary Thao of Tucson, Ariz.; two brothers, Clarence A. Whitaker (Betty) of Vicksburg and Stanley E. Whitaker of Vicksburg; and five grandsons, Thor, Ivan, Brian, Timothy, and Richard Whitaker.

A Memorial Service was held Monday, April 8, at 1:30 p.m. at Johnson’s United Methodist Church in Machipongo with the Rev. Curtis Lucy officiating.

Interment followed in the Johnson’s United Methodist Church Cemetery.

Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to the Scholarship Fund for Quessua, a cluster of villages, churches and schools in the East Angola Conference of the United Methodist Church.

As bishop, Tim was instrumental in establishing a covenant with this unique place and was asked by the young people there to focus on education for them.

Checks can be made to “FLUMC Treasurer” with “Adv # 102020 – East Angola Scholarship” on memo line and sent to:

ATTN: Icel Rodriquez
450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave
Lakeland, FL 33815