CENTERVILLE — Paul Harrison Whitaker, 73, of Centerville, rolled over into the arms of Jesus on April 14, 2011, at Miami Valley Hospital.
Paul was born March 18, 1938, in California to Paul and Elizabeth Whitaker. Most of his formative years were lived in Bethany, Okla., where he was an active part of the youth program at Bethany First Church of the Nazarene. He worked for the church and helped with many of the programs. He taught high school mathematics in California and Colorado before following his heart for missions. Paul and his family served in Swaziland and South Africa from 1968 to 1982 where Paul was a teacher, started and built churches. Upon completion of his work in Africa, he spent 15 years teaching math at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, where he carried on his love for missions by taking 15 groups of students to Central and South American countries.
An accident in 1997 brought an end to his career, but his love for missions followed him to the end of his life. Paul attended Southern Nazarene University for his bachelor’s degree in 1960 and he received his Masters of Science degree in 1967 from Oklahoma State University and then went on to get a Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Technology from Ohio State University in 1988. Paul’s passions were missions, his family and the young people he loved and mentored.
He is survived by Ellen (Payne), his wife of 50 years; daughter and son-in-law, Cynda and Darrell Kindle; son and daughter-in-law, Bradley and Leslie Whitaker; five grandchildren, Gregory, Bethany and Benjamin Kindle, and Matthew and Luke Whitaker; and a sister, Bettina Whitaker Chandler.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 30, at 11 a.m. at Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, Bethany, Okla. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Paul H. Whitaker Scholarship Fund at Mount Vernon Nazarene University (Attn: Office of the President, 800 Martinsburg Road, Mount Vernon, OH 43050).
The Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home, 201 Newark Road, Mount Vernon, OH 43050, is honored to serve the family of Paul Harrison Whitaker.