James Todd Whitaker, age 48, entered the gates of Heaven and into the waiting arms of Jesus on August 7, 2020, after a long illness.
Todd graduated from Harlan High School in 1990 where he was a member of the football team, the academic team, and the golf, tennis, and track and field teams. He attended Union College, graduating with honors in 1995. At Union, he was a member of the golf and swim teams and a member of Kappa Delta Pi.
Todd always had an adventurous soul, and after graduating from college, he moved to Colorado where he was a ski and snowboard instructor and led groups as a trail guide into the Colorado Mountains. He was a white water rafting tour guide and instructor on the Colorado River. He taught school and coached for several years, both in Kentucky and in North Carolina. He later moved to coastal North Carolina where he took a job with the Eckerd Foundation as a wilderness counselor at an at-risk youth residential program. He taught self-reliance, confidence building, and wilderness survival skills and led excursions down the Snake River. He also canoed through and camped in the Everglades in Florida. He founded his own successful commercial landscaping business in Morehead City, NC and within five years grew it into one of the largest of its kind in the region.
Todd was a member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Morehead City, NC. He had a very generous and loving heart and was always thinking of others, especially those who were struggling or needed help. Once after hearing a missionary from Africa talk about a village in Rwanda that didn't have milk for their children, Todd bought several dairy cows for the village. He once bought a mobile home for a homeless family, and another time he purchased a car for a laborer to get back and forth to his job. Todd had a big heart and was always willing to give selflessly to those who were in need without ever expecting accolades or anything in return.
The joy of Todd's life was his daughter, Mary Addison. The happiest times of his life were the moments he spent with her.`
Todd is survived by his daughter, Mary Addison Whitaker; his parents, James "Jay" and Alene Whitaker of Fresh Meadows, Kentucky; sister Paula (Michael) Whisenant and nephew, Drew, of Fayetteville, Tennessee; and grandmother, Geneva Bruce Sasher of North Fort Myers, Florida. He is also survived by his aunts and uncles: Vivian Whitaker (Jerry) Beatty of Middletown, Ohio, and Ed (Edna) Lesko of Hernando Beach, Florida, and a host of cousins and dear friends whom he loved very much. He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Paul B. and Aretta Whitaker, formerly of Loyall, Ray Sasher formerly of North Fort Myers, Florida, and great-grandmother Elsie Bruce, formerly of Cawood.
In lieu of flowers, it would have pleased Todd for you to reach out and help someone in need.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the family will hold a celebration of life at a later date.
Please feel free to leave a condolence, memory, or photo at www.aljfh.com
Anderson-Laws & Jones Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Whitaker family.
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