Lewis Stanley Whitaker

Here's the obit from the Oct. 3, 1999 Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Lewis Stanley Whitaker, written by Celia Sibley:


Lewis Whitaker, 100, journalist, publisher

Lewis Stanley Whitaker was a great storyteller, so it was not surprising he chose a career in journalism.

Mr. Whitaker headed United Press International's Southeast division in Atlanta for more than 20 years, and he and his wife, Myrna Whitaker, who died in 1997, were co-owners of the Marietta Daily Journal. Until his death, he was vice chairman and a director of Times-Journal Inc., publisher of the Marietta Daily Journal and other newspapers in Georgia.

Mr. Whitaker was hospitalized two weeks ago after a fall that injured a hip. He died Thursday at the age of 100. The body was cremated. The memorial service is 1 p.m. Tuesday at his home in Vero Beach, Fla. Indian River Cremations in Vero Beach is handling arrangements.

Mr. Whitaker started his career as a reporter for the Macon Telegraph. He was born in Hennepin, Ill. When he was 5, his family moved to Laclede, Mo. After high school, he attended William Jewel College in Liberty, Mo., for a year and then joined the U.S. Army, serving in the Medical Corps during World War I.

While reminiscing, he would tell people he reluctantly sold his horse after the war to pay for tuition to complete his education. He graduated from the University of Missouri in 1922 with a degree in journalism.

He was a UPI executive in Denver, Dallas and Chicago and Atlanta and, after retiring in 1956, became a media broker.

When he lived in Cobb County, Mr. Whitaker enjoyed fly-fishing and horseback riding. "He loved the cowboy life and liked to dress accordingly," said Curtis Josephson of Vero Beach, his caretaker and friend. "He was thrilled with UPI. He traveled a lot. He always said he had a very enjoyable life with UPI."

The Whitakers lived on a 29-acre farm on Windy Hill Road, which was a dirt road when they built their home. When the area became crowded by development, they sold the property in 1970 for an office park and moved to another dirt road in Vero Beach.

Each summer, Mr. Whitaker traveled to Garden of the Gods Club in Colorado to ride horses in the Rockies. He finally quit riding when he turned 90, then he and his wife spent summers in Highlands, N.C., enjoying golf and tennis.

Atlanta attorney F.T. Davis Jr. said Mr. Whitaker was a long-time family friend. "He was one of the best journalists I've ever seen," he said. "He was quiet, soft-spoken, amazingly tough, a no-nonsense Midwesterner. He loved to hunt and fish. He could tell great stories and was laughing Tuesday, when I last saw him. He was observant, introspective and he had a way of cutting through to the truth of any situation, as journalists do."

Mr. Whitaker was a member of the Riomar Country Club and the Vero Beach Yacht Club.

There are no survivors.