Roy Whitaker


Roy Lee Whitaker, Jr., 80, of Burlington passed away on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at UNC Medical Center surrounded by his loving family.

A native of Sylva, N.C., he was the son of the late Roy Lee Whitaker Sr. and Harriet Holland Whitaker. He was married for over 55 years to the love of his life, Diana Overbey Whitaker, who survives.

Roy enjoyed his career as a traffic manager at Burlington Industries – Transportation Division for 38 years. He excelled at his career where he saw the best in people, shared his sense of humor and worked hard each day to overcome challenges and provide great service. He really enjoyed his co-workers, many of whom became good friends.

He was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Burlington where he served as deacon, usher, and a member of numerous committees. He traveled with many disaster-relief teams through the N.C. Baptist Men (NCBM) helping victims repair their homes and communities.

Roy cultivated a love and passion for gardening. He completed the Alamance Master Gardener program. He spent many hours volunteering with the cooperative extension answering questions about regional plants, flowers and vegetables. His backyard gardens were legendary, and he loved growing delicious vegetables to share with friends and family.

Roy loved traveling with his family to many of America’s national parks, large cities, towns and museums. He enjoyed camping, photography and making stained glass. Roy’s greatest joy was his grandchildren who brought him countless hours of laughter and fun in his later years.

Roy always had a special place in his heart and memory for the mountains of Western North Carolina where he grew up. He shared many stories and laughs about the fly-fishing trips he took in recent years to Hazel Creek in the Smoky Mountains. He loved being in WNC whenever he could and often remarked that he never got tired of looking at the mountains.

He is survived by his wife, Diana Whitaker; sons, Roy Lee Whitaker III (Hillary) and Nathan Linwood Whitaker (Shanna); grandchildren, Holland Emma Whitaker, Kaylee Elise Whitaker, Nathan Linwood Whitaker II and Norah Louise Whitaker.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial service was held at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 21, 2022, in the Lowe Funeral Home Chapel by Rev. Chase Robinson.

The family received friends from 2:30-3:45 p.m. prior to the service.

Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church of Burlington, 400 S. Broad St., Burlington, NC 27215; as well as to the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, c/o UNC Health Foundation, P.O. Box 1050, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

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