Obituary of Lawrence Whitaker, Jr.
Lawrence "Larry" Arnold Whitaker, Jr., 59, of Bellefonte, died Sunday, April 16, 2017, at his home surrounded by his family.
Born February 21, 1958, in Brattleboro, VT he was the son of the late Lawrence Arnold Whitaker, Sr. and Virginia Alice Koshinsky Whitaker. On Sept. 19, 1981 at St. Paul's Church in Webster, NY, he married Janice Ann Modrak.
Larry is survived by his wife, Janice; three children, Christopher David Whitaker and his wife, Laura of Watertown, MA, Benjamin Lawrence Whitaker and his wife, Blair, of Hoboken, NJ, and Zachary Adam Whitaker and his wife, Emily of Bellefonte; his mother, Virginia Kenny and step-father, Robert Kenny of Vernon, VT.; brother, Lance Whitaker of Vernon, VT; two sisters, Lois Sparks and her husband, Tim, of Vernon, VT, and Laurie Ann Brockway and husband, Dan, of Boulder, CO; brother-in-law, Jack Modrak and his wife, Michelle, of Webster, NY; sister-in-law, Myra Holden, and her husband, Patrick, of Richmond, VA; brother-in-law, Mark Modrak of Webster, NY; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, J. David and Constance Modrak of Webster, NY.
Larry received his bachelor's degree in political science and business from Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY, in 1980. He returned to his family's dairy farm which allowed him precious time to work alongside his father and brother, prior to his father's death in 1985. He then entered a successful career in agricultural sales/management and moved his young family to Middlebury, VT where he worked they lived for over 22 years. His ability to connect with ag professionals and his "driver" style led to improvements with sales teams, territories, and products. He worked for several successful companies, including Agway, Monsanto, Pennfield Corporation, and Kauffman's Animal Health. Most recently, Larry served as the national sales manager for Papillon Agricultural Company.
Aside from various adventures on the family farm in Vermont, Larry enjoyed Boy Scouts and attained the highest achievement of Eagle Scout. He was an avid history buff and followed politics closely, chosen by Brattleboro High School to speak before the Vermont Congress and served as a former Selectman for the Town of Vernon. Larry was active with golf, gardening, hiking, visiting historic sites, and home projects. He was an amazing cook and enjoyed entertaining with family and friends.
Larry's proudest accomplishment, along with his wife Janice, was raising three wonderful sons. He was very involved in their education and extracurricular activities - helping with projects, attending numerous sporting events, and assisting with coaching baseball and flag football teams. Upon reflecting on his life, Larry would often state that he was "proud of the fine young men that Ben, Chris, and Zach have become" and pleased with the lives ahead of them.
Memorial service will be 1:00 pm, Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at Koch Funeral Home, 2401 S. Atherton St., State College, with celebrant Jackie Hook officiating and reception to follow at a local venue.
Memorial contributions may be directed to National Brain Tumor Society, 55 Chapel Street, Suite 200, Newton, MA 02458 or braintumor.org, or www.hartwickalumni.org/give, in memory of Lawrence Arnold Whitaker, Jr.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.
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