HOLDEN, Mass. - Ronald Arthur Whitaker, 82, of Holden died in his home on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, after a short illness. He was predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Marie (Jorjorian) Whitaker in 2008.
He leaves a son, Dr. Scott A. Whitaker of San Antonio, TX; two daughters, Wendy M. Lancey of Paxton and Holly E. Rochefort of Stowe, VT; five granddaughters, Julia, Alyssa, Ciara, Kaitlin and Meghan; a brother, David Whitaker of Worcester; two sisters-in-law, Diana Johnson of Worcester and Carol Gibbon of Englewood Cliffs, NJ and many loving cousins, nieces and nephews.
Ron was born in Worcester, the son of Arthur and Ethel (Aspinall) Whitaker and lived for 48 years in Holden. He was a graduate of South High School and The Sparkling School of Deep Sea Diving in California. After graduation from the Sparkling School, he started the East Coast Salvage Company in Massachusetts. At the onset of the Korean War, Ron was drafted and then volunteered for service in the Marine Corps. Following his graduation from boot camp in Parris Island, NC, he was assigned to the First Marine Division ("The Old Breed"), specializing in explosives and demolition. During his military service, Ron was conferred with a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, numerous Purple Hearts and several commendation letters from his company commander. Following his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, Ron matriculated into and graduated from the University of Connecticut, majoring in civil engineering. He was then hired by E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and was eventually promoted to the Head of Demolition, Northwest Division. In order to spend more time with his growing family, Ron eventually resigned from this position and relocated back to Massachusetts where he started several companies; Qualitron Electroplating, Inc., Aluminum Hard Chrome Division, Inc. and Qualitron Machine & Tool, Inc. He continued to enthusiastically run these companies until his retirement.
Ron lived his life to the fullest and his adventurous spirit was his most admirable quality, whether he was teaching his children or grandchildren to scuba dive, swim or ski, cultivate rare fish, investigate and observe historical or astronomical events, sky dive or deep sea fish. He and his beloved wife cherished the ocean and spent their early years vacationing in the Caribbean and their retirement on Cape Cod, where they managed the Shady Knoll Camp Ground in Brewster. They also enjoyed their hobbies of fishing, bicycling and boating. Ron's loving and generous heart touched the lives of many. He will be best remembered for his selflessness with a life that always centered on the happiness and success of his family.
A private funeral service will be held in the Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main Street, Holden. Our family sends much gratitude for the outpouring of support that has been received in memory of Ron. Rather than attend a service, we would like you to spend the time with your parent or loved one.
Donations may be made in memory of Ron to the American Cancer Society , 30 Speen Street, Framingham, MA 01701; or to the Alzheimer's Association , National Organization, 225 North Michigan Avenue, Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601-7633; or by providing support for Question 2 - "Massachusetts Death with Dignity Act" on November 6, 2012. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main St., Holden.
To share a memory or leave an online condolence visit www.milesfuneralhome.com.