Funeral services for Homer Rex Whitaker will be Monday 10:00 am October 11, 2021 at Dickie Allen Funeral Home in Cushing, Texas. Visitation will be from 3:00 - 6:00 pm Sunday, October 10, 2021 at the funeral home. Homer "Rex" Whitaker, or as we know him, "Paw-Paw" was born on October 24, 1934, in Lilbert, Texas. As a loving father, grandfather, and uncle, he passed away suddenly at his home in Nacogdoches, Texas, on the afternoon of Thursday, October 7, 2021, at age 86.
In his early years, he could always be found playing baseball or football. He loved the outdoors, and his love for fishing and hunting were unmatched. There was not a neighborhood boy who did not benefit from the squirrel and coon hunts that he hosted. He was always willing to take as many that cared to go hunting into the woods for a good hunt. His skillful teachings are reflected and evident in so many today. Even as his eye-sight began to deteriorate, he continued to fish whenever he had the opportunity. He looked forward to his yearly trips to Matagorda Bay with Allen and his family and living up to his generous reputation, many of his fishing trips were scheduled so that he could fry the fish for all those who attended the Whitaker reunions, of which he helped arrange for 50 years. In his later life, He would spend several days each week in his beloved Lilbert community visiting with so many who would stop by or simply wave at them as they drove by and honked. If you knew Rex well, you would know that he had an incredible work ethic. He worked at the Sunbeam Bread Company for 5 years, and worked over 40 years at Coca Cola as a route driver. These jobs were evidence of the importance he gave to hard work, and are a testament that can be seen in his three sons: Mike, Allen and Eddie. Perhaps the greatest legacy that Rex leaves behind was his compassion for everyone and his love for his family. It could be said of Rex, "He would give you the shirt off his back." It can also be said that he never knew a stranger and would stop and talk to anyone he met.
Everyone was a friend to Rex, and he was known by them as one of the nicest men they had ever met, and his kindness did not stop with his friends. His family was valued as his prized possession. He spent as much time as possible with all three of his sons and their families. Rex was at his finest when he was gathering together for family birthdays, Christmas, fishing and hunting with his grandkids, attending as many sporting events of his grandkids that he possibly could, or when he traveled to the west coast to see the sights with Mike and his California
family. Rex's blessed life was not free of tragedy however. His wife, Gladys, passed away at the age of 47. One would think with this tragedy and other hard times that Rex faced, that he might become a bit pessimistic. But, the truth is that Rex remained optimistic in spite of the difficult situations he encountered in life. Rex Whitaker had many good qualities and was a man too hard to confine into words, but it is safe to say,"To know him was to love him."
Rex was preceded in death by his parents, A.D. and Samantha Whitaker; wife, Gladys Ward Whitaker; and all 6 of his siblings: Rudolph Whitaker, Earl Whitaker, Dewey (Buvy) Whitaker, Paul Whitaker, Hazel Whitaker, and Thelma Whitehead. Rex leaves behind sons Mike Bell and wife, Gail, of Riverside, California; Allen Whitaker and wife, Sheila, of Nacogdoches, Texas; and Eddie Whitaker and wife, Angela, of Nacogdoches, Texas.
Grandchildren left behind are Gina Bell-Williams; Kelly Bell and wife, Stephanie; Kasey Diestelkamp and husband, Nate; Justin Whitaker and wife, Bethany; Holly Operman and husband, Eric; Austin Whitaker; and Jay Whitaker. Also left behind are thirteen great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, and great friends.
Pallbearers will be Kelly Bell, Justin Whitaker, Nate Diestelkamp, Eric Opperman, Austin Whitaker, and Jay Whitaker.
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