Cover photo for Michael Augustus Whitaker's Obituary
Michael Augustus Whitaker Profile Photo

Michael Augustus Whitaker

February 5, 1952 — July 19, 2019

             Michael Augustus Whitaker, 67, of Jonesboro, born February 5, 1952, died at his childhood home in the Noah’s Ark community on July 19, 2019, after about three weeks care from his sisters, under direction of Shepherd Hospice.  Mike was the only son of Rufus Augustus and Zelma Wilson Whitaker.  He is survived by his son Michael Christopher (Chris) Whitaker, Jonesboro, and grandson, Payton; his daughter Kelly Michele (Kelly) Whitaker, Griffin, and granddaughters Jaden and Erica; sisters Dorothea McAlvin, Hoschton; Sandra Pair, Milledgeville; Brenda LoPotro, Winterport, Maine; and Suzanne Whitaker (Faulkenmayer), Phoenix, Arizona.  He is also survived by several nieces and nephews, who will always remember the joyful Christmas celebration he organized at their grandmother’s house last year.

            A graduate of Stockbridge High School, Mike worked for General Motors, taking early retirement when the Doraville Plant closed.  Mike worked as a millwright at the plant and received numerous awards for production and design ideas—a fact no one in his family knew until they went through his papers after his death.

            Following retirement, Mike enjoyed fishing on the banks of Murder Creek, on Lake Sinclair, and welding metal found-object yard-art pieces, most numerous among them pieces his family named “MAW birds,” taking that name from his initials.  He was always available to help out neighbors on Lake Sinclair and in Noah’s Ark whenever anyone needed a tractor, a mower, a bush-hog.  He was also ever-ready with a story, told with quiet, wry humor—and, maybe, some selective editing—from community and family lore. 

           When he was a boy, Mike loved tramping the woods in Noah’s Ark in company of his cousins, Alan and Randy Wilson, Bubba—Leon, Jr.—and Doug Wilson, and Sammy McCullough, discovering every now and again the remains of some old liquor still and building a hide-away cabin from materials purloined from their grandfather, Wiley Wilson’s old farm.  His baby sister, Suzanne, claims to have accompanied them sometimes but never to have been allowed in the cabin.  The young Mike learned to water ski at Jackson Lake and added snow skiing in his early adult years.  He skied at Sugarloaf and Acadia National Park in Maine, at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and in Quebec, mostly downhill skiing; the cross country skiing at Acadia he didn’t like so well, he told Brenda and Bill.

         Mike loved and guarded his privacy; but his was so generous a nature, the shell was easy to break through, if your needs exceeded his.  On his gated property he treasured his old horse (34-years old, Wilbur is) and his new dog.  The dog appeared, so Mike told the story, on the day of his Aunt Doris’s funeral; and he tried to chase it away.  “Stupid thing, just wouldn’t go,” he said.  So he named him Stup-Dog.  He carried Stup’s picture in his wallet and gifted little identification photos of his pet to his sisters.  He never went to the lake without Stup’s riding along.         

          Mike received the diagnosis of colon cancer at least two years later than it should have been discovered; but his family think that he, who always lived life on his own terms, would not have wanted his last two years to have been any different from what they were. 

          Mike was brought up in the Noah’s Ark Methodist Church.  Whether from church teaching, from parental example, or from thoughtful reflection, his family are witnesses to his having  lived out an Old Testament admonition:  “What doth the Lord require of thee?  To do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before thy God”  (Micah 6:8).  As his body was committed for cremation, his children and his sisters heard readings from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer.  A memorial service is planned for three o’clock in the afternoon on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, at Thomas L. Scroggs Funeral Home in Morrow, Georgia, officiated by the Rev. John Elliott, pastor of Noah’s Ark Independent Church, Jonesboro.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael Augustus Whitaker, please visit our flower store.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Thomas L. Scroggs Funeral Directors

6362 South Lee Street
Morrow, GA 30260

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