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Helen Louise Parker Whitaker

Helen Louise Parker Whitaker, 87, of 336 Kingsley Road, Anderson, SC and 1331 Mooresboro Road, Shelby, NC passed away on November 2, 2017 at AnMed Health Medical Center in Anderson, SC. Mrs. Whitaker was married to Howard Vernon Whitaker, who predeceased her in 2002. She was the daughter of the late Rev. Brady Hampton Parker and Faye Hastings Parker of Rutherford County. She was one of five children, three of which predeceased her: Steven Parker of Lincolnton (Carolyn), Prue Parker Yelton of Bostic (J. E.), and Grace Parker Williams (Billy) of Shelby; one surviving brother, Brady H. Parker, Jr. and his wife, Betty Jo, of Forest City, brother-in-law Billy Williams of Shelby, and sister-in-law Carolyn Parker of Lincolnton.

Mrs. Whitaker is also survived by her two sons and their spouses: Stanley V. Whitaker and Cynthia T. Whitaker of Shelby, and Evans P. Whitaker, Ph.D. and Cynthia Diane Whitaker, of Anderson, SC; two grandchildren - Elisha Whitaker Vinnekamp of Dallas, GA, and Donald E. Whitaker of Boiling Springs, a great grandson, Noah Vinnekamp, and numerous nieces and nephews. Her grandson, Madison Whitaker, of Dallas, GA predeceased her.

Mrs. Whitaker was a graduate of both Hollis High School, where she played basketball, and the former Shelby School of Practical Nursing. She also attended Gardner-Webb University. She spent her career as a nurse in the offices of cardiologist, Ben H. Kendall, MD of Shelby, the former Cleveland Memorial Hospital, and White Oak Manor. She was a long-time member of Sandy Plains Baptist Church in the New House Community of Shelby, where she served a number of years as a Sunday School Teacher for children. She was also a 60-year member of the Shelby Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, having served twice as the chapter's Worthy Matron. She was a cancer survivor of almost 35 years.

As a nurse, she was devoted to caring for others out of an exceedingly humble sense of service and ministry. She loved people and she loved being a part of their lives. No task to help another person was too challenging or undesirable. She was always happy to help anyone in need. She found in nursing her calling that was a daily source of purpose, meaning, and joy.

Mrs. Whitaker is remembered by her family as a wonderful and devoted spouse to Howard, and a mother of unbounded love for her sons. She was faithful to her friends with an unfailing sense of loyalty and generosity. At her leisure, she enjoyed restoring antique furniture, gardening, painting, crafts, and sewing, giving away most her creations to others.

Mrs. Whitaker was the quiet inspiration behind the creation of a new school of nursing within Anderson University in 2011, where a conference room is named in her memory and that of her sister, Grace Williams, who was also a nurse. The Anderson University School of Nursing is nationally accredited and has approximately 400 students. It offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree programs in Anderson and Greenville, SC. The Louise Parker Whitaker Award was established in 2012 in her honor and is given annually to the undergraduate nursing major with the highest grade point average.

A memorial service and celebration of Mrs. Whitaker's life will be held at Sandy Plains Baptist Church, 2112 New House Rd. on Monday, November 6 at 2:00 p.m., with The Rev. Chase Robinson officiating. There will be a dessert reception in the Luna Whitaker Fellowship Hall on the church campus following the service. A private burial will be held at Cleveland Memorial Park.

Memorial gifts may be made in lieu of flowers to: The Louise Parker Whitaker Endowment, Anderson University, 316 Boulevard, Anderson, SC 29621.

Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory is the serving the family of Mrs. Whitaker

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