Raymond Michael Whittaker Obituary

Raymond Michael “Mike” Whittaker, 82, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at Woodland Terrace in Bridgman.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 220 Church Street, St. Joseph, Michigan. The family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph, Michigan. A prayer service will follow at 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to Benton Harbor Soup Kitchen or St. Joseph-Lincoln Senior Center. Those wishing to share a memory of Mike online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

Mike was born June 19, 1939, in Brownwood, Missouri to John and Katherine (Ashcraft) Whittaker. When Mike was one year old his family moved to St. Joseph, Michigan. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1957. Following graduation he served in the United States Army, HQ BTRY 45th Artillery Brigade – 478th Transportation Company from May, 1962 to August, 1967. He was employed by Industrial Rubber Goods and Whirlpool Corporation as a machine operator, retiring in 1999. Following retirement, Mike volunteered at the Benton Harbor Soup Kitchen and was known as “The Bread Man,” as he delivered bread and groceries donated by a local grocery store to several charities each week.

He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, St. Joseph-Lincoln Senior Center and Whirlpool Sportsmen’s Club. Mike enjoyed fishing, walking, playing softball, cooking and Sunday morning coffee with his friends.

On October 2, 1965, Mike married Roberta (Pelkey) Whittaker, who preceded him in death on November 5, 2017. Mike is survived by his children, Susan (Curt) Lake and David Whittaker; grandsons Andrew Lake and Joseph Lake; sisters-in-law Patricia (Ronald) Collins and Lynda Pelkey; brother-in-law Bruce (Kathryn) Pelkey; and several nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were his parents; brother John Whittaker; brothers-in-law Thomas Pelkey and Gregory Pelkey; and nephew Nathanael Pelkey. 

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