Jane Alan Whitaker, beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, died peacefully, albeit unexpectedly, on April 14, 2022 at his Villages residence in Florida.
Jane was born on April 8, 1940, in Bloomington, Illinois, to Virgil Sr. and Lucille M (Fisher) Whitaker. He married his dear wife Rebecca Ann (Becky Shorts) on November 2, 1963 in Peoria, Illinois; She is alive. Also surviving were two daughters, Vicki (Chuck) Replogle of Kimmel, Indiana and Kelly (Tony) Village Parks, Florida, one brother, Virgil (Leslie) Whitaker of Fairfax, Virginia, and three grandchildren (Chris/Kendra Replogle, Aaron/Kayla) Ribogel, Brittany/Justin Blutkamp – all from Indiana), fourteen great-grandchildren and three great-grandparents. Gene’s death was preceded by his father, mother, and brother (Rex Whitaker); Sister (Sharon Whitaker Paul); Brother (Larry Whitaker) and grandson (Brandon Allan Ribogel).
Jane graduated from Manual High School in Peoria, Illinois in 1958. He served as an E-2 Reserve Soldier in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1969. In 1967, Jane graduated from a four-year foundry apprentice course at Caterpillar, Inc. He later became a tool manager at the Mapleton plant, eventually retiring in 2001 after 40 years in the business. Soon after their retirement, Jane and Becky left Peoria/Tree County, to move permanently to villages in Florida. Jane was dedicated, hardworking and highly respected.
Gene has spent many years restoring his 57th Chevy and competing at numerous auto shows and cruises, winning numerous awards. He and his wife were members of The River Valley Drifters Automobile Club in Peoria, Illinois. He enjoyed playing golf and frequenting Dunkin’ Donuts. He was a member of the Hope Village Lutheran Church. Jane was also a member of the American Legion Post 347. What Jane cherishes most is his family and the time he spends with them. He will be remembered forever for his smile, kindness and sense of humor.
A memorial service will be held at Hope Lutheran Church in Villages, Florida on Tuesday, May 31 at 10:30 a.m. Additionally, the Life Celebration will take place later in the fall.
Commemorative contributions may be made to “Brandon A., Indiana and surrounding areas).